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Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Art of Mapping

My shared office at UCL is right next to the Slade School of Art though I have yet to visit. One of the pleasures of entering a new function room at UCL is the opportunity to be able to study the paintings hanging on the wall by former students from the Slade. Augustus and Gwen John, Stanley Spencer, William Orpen, Paul Nash and Ben Nicholson are some of the more recognisable names.

I learnt this week that my colleague and fellow blogger James has a love of snow so its been a good week for him. I on the other hand have had a love of art from an early age, not something that was understood or encouraged in a family of scientists. And contributed, with other things I think, to me joining the police.

Art is about all sorts of things but the most important is the connection with conscious and sub-conscious emotion and the conveyance of a message or an idea. Good art does this. The changes and revolutions in art over the ages have been about the techniques by which this is achieved, not the raison d'ĂȘtre.

Techniques in art are about how reality is represented or deliberately misrepresented. Artist try to tackle the problems of dimensions, time and movement within their art.

Geographical Information Science (GISc) includes geovisialisation which is an area in which science interfaces with art. It graples with same problems - dimesions, time and movement and the representations of reality; it tries to tap into the intuitive mind. I have been trying to explore new ways of mapping crime and police related data. The problem I am finding is the representation of time together with location in a simple and understandable way.

Back to Art and the Slade. Eugenie Scrase, a current student, has recently won the Saatchi Competition on BBC2 for her piece "Trunkated Trunk" which is being exhibited at the Hermitage, in St Petersburg, Russia. (see the picture above) This is good art. There is movement, there is impact, there is history, there is the a reversal of 3D to 2D, there is Fibonacci's spiral and there is purity.

1 comment:

  1. I wandered around the Slade with a friend one lunchtime a while ago. It's quite exciting seeing art being created rather than just hanging in a gallery. The department has quite a chaotic feel which presumably encourages the creativity!