Illuminations Tuesday 7 August 2012 - Sunday 26 August 2012

The new Centre for Synchrotron Science at the Australian Synchrotron, Clayton.
An exhibition of portraits of prominent scientists, highlighting the contributions they make to our world.
Photo Credit: 
Andrew Baird, 2012.

A series of portraits of scientists, but with a difference. This art project looks into the dazzling work scientists do for the benefit of all. As the importance of supporting rational enquiry increases in the face of populist and often irrational responses to the many problems faced by humanity we need more than ever to get behind those best equipped to illuminate a way forward. We live in a society deeply indebted to the work of scientists, yet their presence in the public consciousness is often eclipsed by sports personalities, movie actors, popular entertainers and even politicians.

All portraits are executed with the subject’s eyes closed putting the focus on the inward nature of the scientist’s work, while presenting a meditative and thoughtful visage. With the eyes closed the portrait becomes less about the subject’s personality than about their work. To further enhance this, a pictorial representation of their field of endeavour is placed in the hands, brilliantly lit in vibrant contrast to the human figure.

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