The Impossible Garden
13th July - 25th November

The Impossible Garden

When: 13 July to 25 November 2018

Where: University of Bristol Botanic Garden

What: Is the Impossible Garden?  (watch this video)

The Impossible Garden is a unique set of new experimental sculptures, by artist Luke Jerram, inspired by visual phenomena. The exhibition aims to enhance our understanding of vision and opens to the public on Friday 13 July at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden.

As visitors explore the garden, they will discover 12 engaging art exhibits, designed to help promote understanding and stimulate debate about how visual impairments can affect our perception of the world around us. For those with visual impairments, we do have both audio and braille copies of the brochure available.

The unique idea of The Impossible Garden came about after Luke’s nine-month residency at the Bristol Eye Hospital and BVI, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Luke applied for the residency together with Cathy Williams, a member of BVI and a Consultant in Paediatric Ophthalmology at Bristol Eye Hospital. As part of the residency, Luke worked with BVI researchers, Bristol Eye Hospital, Botanic Garden and spent time with visually-impaired children to increase his knowledge of visual perception.

Posters highlighting some of the reseach done by BVI can be found here BVI research posters (PDF, 2,734kB)

Cathy hopes this exhibition will encourage greater public understanding about the many processes involved in “seeing”, because families tell her that lack of understanding is often a barrier to getting support for children with many kinds of visual impairment.

Well-known for the Museum of the Moon and street pianos artwork Play Me I’m Yours, Luke Jerram said: “As someone who is red-green colour blind, I’m fascinated by the processes of visual perception. Over the years, many of my artworks have explored the processes and limitations of vision. The Impossible Garden has allowed me to test new ideas and share my findings with the public.”

Professor David Bull, Director of Bristol Vision Institute, added: “The collaboration with Luke is a fantastic opportunity for us to explore the power of visual illusions. Understanding how they work can tell us a lot about the properties and limitations of our visual system.”

Timings and getting to the Botanic Garden
The Impossible Garden at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden is open to the public from Friday 13 July to Sunday 25 November 2018 from 10 am until 4.30 pm, 7-days-a-week, including bank holidays.

Admission is £5.50 (includes 50p gift aid donation) and free to under 18s, Friends of the Garden, University of Bristol staff and ALL students. All organised groups of ten or more must book in advance with the Botanic Garden.

Please be aware, parking on-site is limited. Where possible, please consider using public transport, however parking is available on Stoke Park Road and around the Downs (5 hours free parking).

Blue Badge holders and those with restricted mobility will be able to park in the walled garden car park (please advise if you would like a space).

Public transport links can be found by visiting the Botanic Garden website.

This exhibition, created as a aset of experimental sculptural artworks, has provided me with an opportunity to explore new optimal phenomena, test ideas and share my interest in visual perception with the public.

Luke Jerram

Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture

Luke Jerram will give this year’s Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture, “Exploring the Edges of Perception”.

Taking place on Tuesday 13th November, 6pm, this annual lecture, is held in memory of Professor Richard Gregory, the inspiration behind the formation of Bristol Vision Institute. 

Luke’s first artwork “Retinal Memory Volume” was inspired by Richard Gregory’s book “Eye and Brain”.

Booking is mandatory, secure your place here.

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