Researchers help in public art ‘Transformation’

The work suggests the transformative nature of energy and learning.

University of Portsmouth researchers have played a major role in an exciting new piece of public art opening this month.

Transformation is permanent kinetic art installation in the new Science Building at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Designed by artist Annie Cattrell, the aim of the work is to represent science in action, suggesting the transformative nature of energy and learning.

Dr Marius Kwint, a Reader in Visual Culture in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, was commissioned by Annie and Anglia Ruskin University to curate a preceding free public exhibition and symposium last April on the idea of transformation. The distinguished graphic design for the exhibition and publication was by School of Art and Design Lecturer Sandra Zellmer, who has also designed signage for the Tate and apps for Frieze magazine.

The symposium featured talks by Steffen Lehmann, Professor of Sustainable Architecture, and Professor Sherria Hoskins, Dean of the Faculty of Science. Professor Lehmann told the symposium about his work transforming cities through new art and architecture, and Professor Hoskins talked about how education can transform lives.

Annie Cattrell said: “The concept for Transformation is a large-scale, visually scintillating and rippling surface that responds to the wind, rain and sunlight. The piece, formed from thousands of small tiles, will appear as a solid surface, yet each tile will have the ability to move independently in response to the wind, creating an ever changing pattern and movement across the surface.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Marius on a number of occasions, specifically the Einfach Complex exhibition at the Museum of Design in Zurich and for Brains the Mind as Matter at Wellcome Collection in London. Both exhibitions were significant in their artistic, cultural and academic rigour. As an artist, I value the way Marius brings such thought and creativity to every project he leads.”

Dr Kwint said: “I’m very proud that we at the University of Portsmouth could contribute to this landmark project. Annie’s Transformation is an outstanding artwork, which is beautifully simple but also infinitely complex and ever-changing. It stands as a fascinating analogue of the way that nature, society and ourselves are in constant states of flux and variation. Public art brings people together and this has been a rewarding case of two universities collaborating.”

The official opening of the installation will take place on Tuesday 13 February.

Watch a news report from That’s Cambridge TV about the project and an interview with Dr Kwint here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=NIE3KnvXs8E

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