Ignite! and the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity announce four artists commissions

Engaging with the natural environment through digital signs, the science of food, animations of children’s curiosity and a bloom of luminous jellyfish are among the ideas that will be on show for the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity in February.


Ignite!, the Nottingham-based education charity, and the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity (FOSAC) have announced the winners of four artists commissions that are designed to explore how the communication of scientific ideas can be done in these times of COVID-19. With funding from the Arts Council of England’s emergency support for creative organisations, Ignite! has invited artists Alfie Eyden, Ryan Heath, Chris Lewis-Jones and INSTAR to create work for the next festival which will take place between 8th and 17th February next year.


Festival Producer, Megan Shore, said, ‘We are delighted to offer opportunities for artists to support our programme this year. FOSAC is all about the exploration of ideas with children, young people and families, and to show that science isn’t remote and only done in labs; it is part of our everyday cultural lives.’


The call for expressions of interest prompted 26 responses from Nottinghamshire based artists across a wide range of media and forms, and Shore commented, ‘This has prompted us to plan for further opportunities in the future. We are committed to supporting work that combines creativity and curiosity and community engagement.’


The artists commissions include two from emerging artists. Alfie Eyden is a young graphic artist who has produced designs for local celebrations like Hockley Hustle in Nottingham. His proposal for FOSAC is to work with a local primary school and illustrate and make animations of questions from children. Ryan Heath works at Backlit, the Sneinton studio that offers support for young creatives. His idea is to develop new digital signage for the natural environment and local wildlife areas.


Artists partnership INSTAR, whose members are Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys, are proposing a celebration of jellyfish, in kinetic sculptures that capture their amazing movement, and an online interactive activity around jellyfish blooms. Chris Lewis-Jones who is a member of the Primary artist collective in Radford is planning a series of community-focused events around the science of food.


Ignite! and the FOSAC have also been working throughout the year with installation artist Roma Patel as the 2020/21 Festival Artist in Residence, also supported by Arts Council England. Roma is creating an indoor sensory garden for young children. The Festival is hopeful that this can be installed as a physical space that children can enter and enjoy.


Megan Shore added, ‘This year is going to be very different for audiences and participants, but with the help of the imagination of the artists we are equally sure that 2021 Festival will be very special.’

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