Barcode UK—Moving beyond the Visible: Collaborative Research between a Photographic Artist and Botanical Scientists

By Andrea Liggins.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using as a case study the author’s second collaborative research project with botanical scientists based upon the Barcode UK research initiative, and with reference to a range of other science/art projects, this paper explores the insights, findings, and added value of art and science collaborations. The author is a photographic artist and researcher and has collaborated with botanical scientist Dr. Natasha De Vere, lead scientist at the National Botanic Garden of Wales during two science research projects, the first project to identify the DNA of the native flora of Wales and the second, upon which this paper is focussed, the DNA of the flora of the UK. The author’s photography has its origins in a twelve-year research project to find new ways of photographing the landscape, to counter the established conventions of the picturesque and sublime. The author’s current photographic practice has developed directly from the science/art interaction and is a visual representation of one of the applications of the science—the role of moths in pollination, and will form a touring exhibition Barcode UK—Moving beyond the Visible, in early 2014.

Keywords: Eco-aesthetics, Nature, Representation

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 8, Issue 1, October 2014, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 667.733KB).

Prof. Andrea Liggins

Dean, Faculty of Art and Design, Swansea Metropolitan, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Wales, UK

Andrea Liggins is the dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She holds a PhD in photography and landscape (2005), and achieved a chair in photographic studies in 2007. She is a photographic artist and exhibitions of her photography have been shown in, China, India, Russia, across Europe, and the UK. Recent works include Uncertain Terrain—The Garden (2013) and Unreliable Truths (2008), which both continue a long-term photographic project that explores alternative ways of engaging with landscape/space to engender a greater sense of involvement. Liggins’s current research is in conjunction with the National Botanical Garden of Wales as part of the Barcode UK project. In her role as dean of the Faculty of Art and Design, Liggins has led successful funding applications for European projects, totalling more than £7 million, and has directed the resultant projects, including the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre (CIRIC). Through these funded project centres, she has created and facilitated strong links between science, technology, environment, and the arts.