A new space where art and science collide. Driven by ideas, not objects. A two-way flow of ideas and information between the university and the city.
Science Gallery London is already all these, and more. Before the physical building opens in 2018 – within Guy’s Campus, one of the university’s five campuses – the team behind King’s newest Gallery have been running experimental pre-opening seasons in pop-up locations across the university and city.
The driving aim for Science Gallery London is for it to be an accessible space, its content provoking discussion and exchange rather than silent reverential contemplation and a place where research is brought, through cultural collaboration, to wider audiences. Its key audience will be young people aged 15 to 25, to encourage them to engage with new ideas.
‘The FED UP workshop was really eye opening for me, as I am a teenager from a town where new and controversial ideas are rarely emerging’.
Lauren Wallis, student participant
Lauren Wallis was 16 when she took part in a Science Gallery London workshop as part of the FED UP season, allowing sixth form students to examine the role of sustainability, sensory experience and perception in determining the future of food. She said of her experience: ‘The FED UP workshop was really eye-opening for me, as I am a teenager from a town where new and controversial ideas are rarely emerging, which has caused me to be quite secluded from the incredible discoveries and revolutions that constantly seem to become evident from London. Workshops like FED UP are extremely important in influencing people to change their diets for the right reasons.
The free-to-visit Science Gallery London will not have a permanent collection. Instead it will present themed seasons that interrogate contemporary challenges by inviting collaborations between artists and scientists. Key to this is its location within Guy’s Campus, which will foster a creative and interdisciplinary dialogue between King’s researchers, staff and students and artists and the local community.
Professor Brian Sutton from the Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics at King’s College London collaborated with artist Inés Cámara Leret during the MOUTHY season. He said: ‘One of the most valuable aspects of Science Gallery London will be its dedicated space for interaction with the public and a focus for high quality engagement.’
King’s students will play a vital role in the Gallery as hosts and mediators, developing communication skills and enhancing their employability. Parnyan Ashtari was the first person employed as a Science Gallery London Mediator. She shared her experience working on Bea Haines’ installation Terminal Sulcus: ‘I noticed that when listening to people’s perspective in an artistic rather than clinical context, there was no fear and, instead, sensory language flowed.’
Shaping the Gallery’s future direction is the Leonardo Group, a diverse and inspiring collection of future thinkers and influencers, drawn from science, technology, the arts, media, education and business. Their range of backgrounds reflect London as the most diverse city in the world. In addition, the university’s close connections to King’s Health Partners, including Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, will ensure the Gallery’s programming draws on and reflects a broad range of expertise in health and wellbeing.