Press release issued 8 August 2012
Postgraduate students from the University of Bristol will be swapping science for spray cans as they bring their research work to life for See No Evil – the UK’s largest permanent street art project.
See No Evil will return to Nelson Street from 13 to 19 August, recreating the success of last year’s inaugural event which saw leading graffiti artists turn the dull city centre street into a tourist attraction, bringing in visitors and bolstering Bristol's reputation as a street art centre.
It is part of the London 2012 Festival, a summer-long arts festival throughout the country to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This year aims to be bigger and better, featuring huge scale digital projections, music stages, after parties, a pop-up gallery and live painting.
Saturday, 18 August, will see a total of 10 PhD and EngD students from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded Centres for Doctoral Training at Bristol University not only spray-painting on large boards but also transforming a car in a bid to express the themes and ideas behind their research, translating science and engineering concepts into street art.
Their work will be overseen by Bristol-based contemporary artist Dan Petley, whose street art alter ego is Old Master. No one knows in advance what they’ll be painting but their ideas will unfold during the day as they discuss their research with the public.
Natasha Watson, a postgraduate research engineer from the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems, will be using See No Evil as an opportunity to communicate the benefits of using straw bales, earth and hemp as building materials as opposed to steel and concrete. Her artistic skills will show how such natural materials can buffer changes in internal temperature and moisture, making the building feel more comfortable.
She said: "Science and engineering have a bad reputation for excluding the public by using technical jargon and being quite dry, whereas art can be appreciated and discussed by everyone. By taking part in this I hope to help break this image down, showing that science and engineering can be fun and accessible.
“Through art, as well as other activities, I hope to get that message out there and spread the awareness of my project and of science and engineering research in general.”
The students have previously worked with Dan Petley on a similar project at the IDC in Systems called the Arts Challenge, which saw them produce work which was shown at Discover - the University of Bristol’s public celebration of its research.
David Alder, Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Bristol, said: “Bristol is known internationally as a creative city and the fact that the city is attracting some of the world’s leading street artists further supports Bristol’s profile. It’s especially exciting that the University has the opportunity to interpret areas of academic research in this way and this juxtaposition between art and leading-edge research will undoubtedly produce some fascinating results.”
More than 30 prolific artists, including Lyken, Nick Walker, Italian artist Pixel Pancho and LA-based artist Chase will add some jaw-dropping images to the city's streets, building on the success of last year's project. They’ve been gathered together by famous Bristol graffiti legend Inkie, who inspired the first See No Evil event last year.
The event will be accompanied by Hear No Evil, organised by Team Love and featuring a series of music events throughout the week and Block Party events on both Saturday, 18 August and Sunday, 19 August.
See No Evil is organised with the support of the Arts Council England, London 2012 Festival, Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol.
Funding for the University’s project has come from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.
The students are from Bristol University’s Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems, the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, Bristol Centre for Complexity Sciences, Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science Doctoral Training Centre and the Bristol Chemical Synthesis Doctoral Training Centre. They are:
Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) are a bold new approach to training PhD students and EngD research engineers, creating communities of researchers working on current and future challenges. Bristol University has five such centres, all involving significant industrial collaboration in environmental science and technologies.
Street art depicting the evolution of Engineering. By students Natasha Watson, Joe Clarke, Tom Walworth and Kate Ross-Smith
Blake Kendrick’s street art produced for the Arts Challenge, using spray paints and acrylics on canvas to create an abstract painting of the machine he works with at Renishaw
It’s especially exciting that the University has the opportunity to interpret areas of academic research in this way and this juxtaposition between art and leading-edge research will undoubtedly produce some fascinating results.