Shadowgraph: Seeing the Invisible

TINKA BECHERT REFLECTS ON HER EXPERIENCE OF ART AND SCIENCE RESIDENCIES, INCLUDING THE SPARK RESIDENCY IN LEITRIM.

My father dedicated his life to aerodynamics, turbulence research and the then emerging fields of bionics and biomimicry, so I have been around the sciences most of my life. When I was five, we visited the NASA facilities in Houston. Physics had a tangible aura of excitement and adventure for me, but it was only much later that I began to understand how challenging this highly creative discipline really is. My upbringing instilled a firm belief that human curiosity, wonder and a need for reason are shared driving forces across both the arts and the sciences.

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Roots of the Matter

LOUIS HAUGH DESCRIBES HIS TIME AT ARTFARM (11–27 SEPTEMBER 2015), A RURAL ARTISTS’ RESIDENCY IN COUNTY GALWAY.

For the past year, I have been researching the history and practice of commercial forestry in Ireland. I’ve always been perplexed by the wealth of non-native coniferous trees across Ireland’s landscape and by the dwindling number of our native broad-leaf trees, such as oak, ash and beech. So I traced the roots of this matter (quite literally) back to the National Herbarium in Glasnevin. It is here that the Augustine Henry Collection is housed: an archive of thousands upon thousands of tree samples, including leaves, twigs, seeds, cones and roots, all meticulously boxed, labelled and archived.

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