Stunning images, fascinating stories: Research as Art winners announced
These stunning images, and the fascinating stories behind them, are the winners of the 2015 Research as Art competition.
The competition celebrates the diversity and beauty of research at Swansea University – a top 30 research university - and the creativity and impact of its researchers.
Research as Art is the only competition of its kind, open to researchers from all subjects, and with an emphasis on telling the research story, as well as composing a striking image.
The judging panel was made up of senior figures from the Royal Institution, NewScientist.com, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and Art Across the City.
Competition founder Dr Richard Johnston, senior lecturer in materials science at Swansea University, said:
“Research as Art is an opportunity for researchers to reveal their personal story, their humanity, their inspiration, and emotion. It can also be a way of presenting their research process, and what it means to be a researcher; fostering dialogue, and dissolving barriers between universities and the wider world.”
The overall winner is Dr Sparky Booker from the College of Arts and Humanities, with her entry “Rising from the Page”, illustrating the challenges of her research on women and justice during the Middle Ages.
Dr Sparky Booker said:
“This image symbolises two key challenges of my research on women and their access to justice during the Middle Ages. Firstly, I am reliant on written, legal sources that are formulaic, often brief and incomplete, and rarely record the woman's voice. Secondly, in my attempts to interpret this information, how do I lift them off the page and produce a rounded picture of medieval women?
I collate the material, look for patterns, shape arguments and create my own theories about their experiences. But in doing so, there is always the danger that I assume their experiences are the same and, like this paper chain of women, produce a homogenised view. I know, nevertheless, that it is still worthwhile to try to reconstruct and understand, and the figures rising out of the manuscripts represent the hopefulness of historical research as well as its dangers.”