Art meets science in new exhibition

Published: 03 Mar 2020

Catherine Truman’s art is often inspired by what she sees through her microscope.

She also regularly enhances objects found in nature with intricate carvings and combines her artistic process with scientific method.

Opening at Artspace Mackay this Friday (March 6), Catherine Truman: No surface holds marks the first time Truman’s science-influenced works have been brought together.

The exhibition is an intriguing blend of created and found objects, jewellery, film, images, installation and sculpture.

Artspace Mackay director Tracey Heathwood said Truman was an accomplished artist, with a love of research flowing in the undercurrent of her practice.

“Truman is clearly fascinated by the human body and anatomy, and that fascination inspires much of her art,” Ms Heathwood said.

“Truman’s sculptural objects and jewellery, made primarily from carved English lime wood, are a reflection of her interest in human anatomy and our constant desire to learn more about it,” she said.

Ms Heathwood said Truman spent much of her time immersed in scientific pursuits.

“Between 2009 and 2013 she was artist in residence in the Autonomic Neurotransmission Laboratory, the Anatomy and Histology departments and the Ian Gibbins Microscopy Suite at Flinders University, Adelaide,” she said.

“Currently she is a visiting scholar at the Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology, Eye and Vision Research, School of Medicine, Flinders University.”

Truman said her studio has morphed into a laboratory of sorts.

Working amongst scientists and researchers, and as an avid researcher herself, she said that she has come to realise the processes of science and art are not so dissimilar.

“As an artist I have learnt that making things with my hands leaves me with much less of a sense of dislocation from the world I live in,” Truman said.

“And this, I feel, is an interesting premise from which to examine the world of science.”

Catherine Truman: No surface holds will open at Artspace Mackay alongside Elysha Rei: The CQUniversity Wall; Disquiet: Ecological Anxieties and Transformations, and Art of Collection: Ros Jones on Friday, March 6 from 6pm.

There will be a bar, live music and the winner of the Artspace Mackay Foundation Hands On Bursary will also be presented.

About the JamFactory Icon series

The JamFactory Icon series was launched in 2013 as a series of solo exhibitions celebrating the achievements of South Australia’s most outstanding and influential craft and design practitioners.

Each exhibition presents leading practitioners with significant national and international profiles and considerable influence in their chosen field.

Proving herself to be one of South Australia’s leading contemporary artists and jewellers, Catherine Truman has been selected as this year’s 2017 JamFactory Icon.

This exhibition will be the first time that Truman’s collaborative practice with artists and scientists is presented as a whole.