Art meets Science in Invisible Light, an expansive new exhibition from The School of Looking funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme, which reignites the heritage of Crawford Art Gallery as an institution for both artistic and scientific endeavour.
Through an ambitious, collaborative endeavour with Tyndall National Institute and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), Invisible Light imaginatively explores the Electromagnetic Spectrum in its relationship to history, society, artistic creation and art conservation.
Just as we can describe the spectrum of visible light in seven colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – we can also divide the Electromagnetic Spectrum into seven zones. The middle zone – the smallest – is the only one we call visible, but in truth they are all visible to us now. The invention and construction of machine eyes to see all this invisible light has been a collective project since the late nineteenth century, and a vision revolution that has made the whole universe visible to us.
Men and women of science have slowly rendered visible the entire range of energy frequencies that permeates our universe – Gamma Rays, X-Rays, Infrared Radiation, Visible Light, Ultraviolet Radiation, Microwaves, Radio Waves – and imagined extraordinary applications for them, including inventions that have progressed society in countess ways, saving lives, allowing us to see into the molecular structure of our cells, gaze far into the universe, and peer behind micron-thin layers of paint to reveal the secrets of the Grand Masters of art.
Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of visionary Irish scientist John Tyndall (1820-1893), artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly from The School of Looking have worked closely with scientists from Tyndall National Institute and Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), and curators at Crawford Art Gallery to imagine an exhibition that truly unites art and science.
Invisible Light shares this adventure with the public, through seven newly commissioned artworks, each one exploring a region of the Electromagnetic Spectrum and accompanied by seven Ray Days, days of safe public engagement dedicated to each separate type of radiation.
Invisible Light receives its world premiere at Crawford Art Gallery and, in 2021, will represent Ireland at the Universal Exhibition in Dubai.