Biomimetics, Colour and the Arts

    Research output: Other contribution


    This research is located at the intersection of fine art and scientific developments in optical nanomaterials. Schenk?s work explores the application of the science of mimesis and bio-optics in contemporary painting. Using biomimetic methodologies and iridescent substances, she has innovated studio-based techniques to create image viewing experiences until now only seen in nature. Experimentation led to new processes informed by extensive investigation into the physics of natural phenomena, e.g. the dazzling iridescent colouration of certain insects and birds. Taking inspiration from these unique phenomena, the researcher introduces optical dynamism into painting, via the novel exploitation of iridescent pigment, allowing her to capture the process of oscillation between permanence and the ephemeral, the recognizable and the obscure. The characteristics of the nanomaterials deployed demanded the development of particular processes for achieving target affects. These involved blending conventional studio practices (pigment mixing, under-painting, glaze application, etc.) with new approaches devised for handling these challenging special media. Applying these new approaches enables colour shifting visual effects, previously unobtainable with conventional studio pigments, offering the means to catapult painting into the nano-age. Complementing the scientifically informed and laboratory-based dimensions of the work, these transformative methods have been advanced through their application in the researcher?s own artistic practice. A series of paintings deploying these methods have been exhibited. The underpinning science and novel application process developed to adopt nanomaterials in painting have been disseminated through conference presentations and refereed journals, e.g. invited papers, together with selected artworks, were presented at SPIE, San Diego (?Biomimetics, Colour and the Arts?, 2015) and the Max Planck Institute, Dresden (?Towards Smarter Art?, 2019). Also see the article with Prof Stavenga, University of Groningen, published by Faraday Discussion Journal (2020) and debated at the Royal Society of Chemistry?s international Faraday Discussion. Schenk?s artwork is on the cover.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherSociety for Artistic Research
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 29 Dec 2020


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