Here at the Creativity Centre we have just completed a project with artists in our local area. Funded mainly by a grant from Arts Council England, the aim of this project was to discover how our ejournal is made relevant to an artist’s practice and creative development - but it became much more than this. This project was highly successful, really useful and meaningful for the artists and art students who took part and a moving and rewarding experience for us. We received excellent feedback and everyone wanted to contribute to the journal. They identified key development needs and made valuable suggestions for future content to meet their needs and those of other artists. More importantly participants found this project so relevant, enjoyable and useful that they want to continue meeting monthly. They’re so enthused by this project that they want to learn more about Creativity for Artists, contribute more, continue developing their own creativity as artists and sharing their expertise with others.
Should we see the Arts, Engineering and Science as separate or are they interlinked?
For a start, Engineering can be seen as applied Science. In fact, it is difficult to define where one begins and the other ends. Does it matter anyway? There are many examples where engineering structures and projects have their own artistic beauty (at least to the beholders) such as suspension bridges. Similarly, some find mathematics quite beautiful and analogous to music.
The same applies to the Arts where many forms of art rely heavily upon scientific knowledge and engineering techniques. Jewellery manufacture is a good example.
Science and engineering are often looked down upon by the arts yet most engineers and scientists have a good appreciation of the arts and usually adopt one or more of the arts as hobbies. I wonder if there are many on the arts side that have a similarly broad set of interests. This polarisation has not always been the case. A good example is Borodin who was both a chemist and a composer. Gilbert and Sullivan are also good examples of people with a broad understanding of many aspects of art and science. Sadly this wide understanding of many areas does not seem to have continued across all disciplines.
Many on the science side are put off by artistic objects because they seem to be totally without function and of little beauty or interest. There was an example of this to be seen in the Reception area of one of the large UK electronics firms. It had a large bas relief black design covering most of the wall. It did not reflect the work of the firm and the artist actually had a label stating that it was not meant to be or mean anything?
On the other hand, one only has to look at the complex curves of jet engines compressor blades to appreciate beauty.
Perhaps we should turn the clock back and learn from each other for the benefit of all?