Serving & connecting
Experimentation with unconventional drawing materials is an important strand of Daksha Patel’s artistic practice. This residency, titled Laboratory (Drawing) Life, will transform an anatomy laboratory into a creative ‘makerspace’ by using available scientific objects as drawing mediums.
The aims of the residency are to develop a novel pedagogy of Art-Science education and to produce a new series of drawings using laboratory materials. Daksha will be based in the lab and attend lectures in order to identify key strands of the curriculum that can be explored further through the process of making art. For example, drawings might be created within or from culture cells in a petri dish, or blood could be used as ink. This residency asks how artist materials and processes could become integrated into conventional laboratory resources.
Drawings may be ephemeral, only surviving for a short period of time before changing or disintegrating. Materials will be tested to investigate how their sensory properties can cultivate a different type of student learning through classes and drawing workshops. The team will photograph the drawings and document the process and outcomes of the residency on their blog, which can be visited here: lablifedrawing.com.
Daksha Patel is a Manchester-based artist whose practice encompasses drawing, printmaking, animation and installation. Her work engages with technologies of mapping, measurement and visualisation. She regularly undertakes residencies and research within scientific institutions such as Life Science at the University of Dundee, Neuroscience and Imaging Science at the University of Manchester and Applied Mathematics at the University of Bristol.
Drawing remains at the heart of Daksha’s practice. She experiments with materials such as animal fat, natural pigments and clay, draws from live bio-data projections, as well as working with graphite on paper. Daksha is interested in exploring what a drawing can reveal that scientific visualisations cannot.
Dr David Hay is Reader in Higher Education in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy. David's research is rooted in the study of teaching and learning in Higher Education and is interested in the use of technology to enable the pedagogies of university teaching and learning.
Much of his research is currently done in partnership with lecturing staff at King's, and David is currently funded by the Higher Education Academy to use concept mapping to facilitate learning in neuroscience, history, classics, dentistry, medicine, nursing and several other disciplines.
Dr Richard Wingate is a Developmental Neurobiologist and Head of the Department of Anatomy at King’s. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has served on Wellcome Trust panels for Science and Art, Society (Pulse), Arts, Arts Production and the Hub selection. He is a member of the Public Education and Communication Committee of the Society for Neuroscience, USA
Richard has collaborated on a variety of public engagement projects across a range of media. He was a scientific advisor for the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition Brain: The Mind as Matter exhibition in 2012 and collaborated with artists Celia Pym and Tamsin van Essen as part of “Parallel Practices” with the Crafts Council UK in 2015.
In the spring term of 2020, Daksha ran a series of student workshops in the anatomy labs. The images below are from her ‘Keratin Adaptations’ workshop, which asked students to imagine the future of human evolution following catastrophic climate breakdown. Each group was given a specific climate and asked to design how their subspecies would adapt to living in extreme environments. The evolution of keratin-based body structures, which changes their morphology and consequently their external appearance, became the starting point for a body sculpture which students produced, modelled and presented at the workshop.
See the residency blog for further details about the project
The images below are of Daksha's ‘studio’ set up in the corner of the anatomy labs at King's. She was based there during the spring term of 2020, making drawings, prints and running student workshops. The cabinet above the table contains some ‘Takuhon’ prints which were made from Zeigler anatomy models and specimens from the Museum of Life Sciences at King’s. The Takuhon process involves creating a three dimensional paper print of objects by moulding paper around them. It is a haptic process whereby, the object can't be seen, but instead an understanding of it is developed through touch and feel. By working with both anatomy models and specimens, the distinction between human and non-human life becomes blurred. These prints were then attached to the walls in the lab, similarly to the test drawings Daksha attaches to the walls of her studio in Manchester.
Another strand of activity involved making drawings from looking ay slides of human tissue through a microscope, and using biological stains and anatomy instruments to draw with. These too were attached to the wall and students were invited to attach notes or their own drawings to create an interactive space.
Browser does not support script.
Email the Culture team
Collaborations and artist residencies across the university
Stimulating creative thinking about the design and use of digital models for revealing hidden…
King's artists in residence within the university's faculties