Oxford, 22nd April 2006
On Saturday 22nd April, leading textile artist and renowned Oxfordshire ‘super-stitcher’, Anne Griffiths will lead a mammoth dyeing session with eight Women’s Institute (WI) Leaders for ‘Designs for Life’ and scientists from Diamond, in Oxford. (Left hand image: Rohannah Hussain, Diamond Beamline Scientist -left- and Anne Griffiths WI -right- with panel designs and material samples)
This project, which is destined to be one of the largest and most exciting new art-science installations created in the UK in 2006, brings together four Oxfordshire organisations. The science inspiration, and permanent home for the finished art display, comes from Diamond Light Source, the largest science facility to be built in the UK for 30 years. The Oxford Trust is managing the project and artists from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College have helped interpret the science into visual art. Anne Griffiths has also played a key role in translating the science into art and, together with 85 fellow WI members from branches across Oxfordshire, she will work on creating the finished art display. ‘Designs for Life’ has been made possible through funding from The Wellcome Trust, the world’s largest medical research charity funding research into human and animal health.
To ensure consistency of colours, fabrics and threads, Anne will work with the Oxfordshire WI Group Leaders and scientists to prepare materials for the 30, 50 cm x 50 cm panels which will make up the final display. Each panel will depict some of the life-saving, health related science work that will take place at Diamond, the new flagship UK science facility being built on the Harwell science and innovation campus. (Right hand image: Lynn Taylor WI dyeing material).
The ‘Designs for Life’ project features designs based on structural images from research into diseases such as Flu, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, malaria, breast cancer and BSE/CJD, all of which Diamond will be able to investigate when its life-science experimental stations come on-line in early 2007.
More designs and details can be found at: http://www.pocketmouse.co.uk/diamond.php
Anne Griffiths comments: “This project is all about collaboration and communication. The Oxford Trust, Diamond and the WI in the Oxfordshire Federation are bringing together a lot of people who previously knew little about each other but have lots in common. We all want to get as many people involved as possible because there is a perception that science is too difficult for people to understand – this is just the same with stitching – no one thinks they can possibly sew. So one of my personal goals is to get every scientist at Diamond and every WI lady in the Oxfordshire Federation to put at least one stitch into ‘Designs for Life’. Just like science, stitching is for everybody. “
Inspiration for the designs came directly from the scientists. Their ideas and images from a variety of research experiments were then interpreted by Anne and students from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. The next challenge is for the WI Group members to make these designs come alive using a range of quilting, stitching, textile art and embroidery techniques. The Group leaders will receive their first panel designs and materials on ‘dyeing day’. (Left hand image: Jose Brandao-Neto, Diamond Beamline Scientist -left- and Pamela Waite WI -right- printing material)
All panels are expected to be completed by December 2006 and the art display will then go on tour visiting public venues such as hospitals, shopping centres, museums and fairs to ensure the maximum number of people in the county and beyond have the opportunity to see what Prof Gerd Materlik, Diamond’s Chief Executive, describes as: “A stunning piece of educational artwork that Diamond, the WI and the Oxford Trust can be proud of. The design will depict some of the most fabulous scientific stories on cloth and we are hugely grateful to the WI for agreeing to lend their time and artistic skills to bring this imaginative project to fruition. We look forward to 2007 when it will be ready for positioning in the Atrium, where it will support Diamond’s launch year activities.”
Hugo Brunner, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, is also lending his support to the project “I have a great affinity with the WI as my mother was National Chairman of the organisation when I was growing up. I know that the WI offers its members a wealth of exciting initiatives to become involved with. Diamond is going to bring world leading science to Oxfordshire and I think this project, which draws scientists and WI members together, is a great way of encouraging dialogue between the two groups. ”
RSVP – If you would like to receive photographs or conduct an interview with the artist, scientists, or WI participating members, please contact Silvana Damerell on 01235 778238 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Lorna Campbell on 01844 338145 or email@example.com
Anne Griffiths (www.pocketmouse.co.uk/)
Anne Griffiths, leading textile artist and college tutor, became a member of the WI to pursue her then ‘hobby’ of stitching when she moved to Oxfordshire in 1998. Now a full time artist, Anne uses both natural and chemical dyes, combined with a variety of stitching techniques and works primarily in machine embroidery on sheer fabrics. As well as using traditional methods, Anne uses a computer to design and manipulate images and patterns and finds that this offers and abundance of new, creative opportunities. Anne produces work to commission as well as giving talks, workshops and demonstrations. She also teaches textile courses at Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology (Gloscat).
Diamond Light Source is a new synchrotron facility, under construction in South Oxfordshire (UK), and scheduled to open in early 2007. When Diamond begins operations, it will have 7 experimental stations/beamlines and this will be expanded to 22 beamlines by 2011.
This 21st century machine can be described as a series of 'super microscopes', which will be housed in a 235m diameter doughnut-shaped building. Eventually Diamond could provide as many as 40 different scientific experimental stations. A key goal of Diamond is to become a leading UK research base with a unique culture that cross-fertilises ideas from different fields of science.
The synchrotron is operated by Diamond Light Source Limited. This new company is a successful joint venture between two shareholders. Government through the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) own 86% of shares, whilst The Wellcome Trust, one of the world's leading biomedical research charities and the UK's largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research. own 14%.
The Oxford Trust is an independent charitable foundation that works to encourage the study, application and communication of science and technology. It has been working in the field of Science Communication for nearly 20 years and is experienced in delivering pioneering, high quality innovative projects for schools and for the public.
In September 2005, the Trust opened Science Oxford providing a focal point for science and enterprise in Oxfordshire. Known more formally as SO, Science Oxford provides a home for the Trust’s offices and for Hands On, an interactive science gallery for schools and families. SO also provides a stylish and contemporary venue for the Trust’s What’s On programme with a wide range of events, activities and exhibitions to engage business, schools and the public in discussion about science.
For more information about The Oxford Trust and its activities please visit our website, www.oxtrust.org.uk or contact Claire Dimond on 01865 728953.
For information on the Oxfordshire Federation of the Women’s Institute visit www.womens-institute.org.uk/oxfordshire
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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