The marriage of science and art is being celebrated once again with the 2008 Vegetative Visions art show being held at Southern Cross University on Friday, May 16.

The show is organised annually by the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics (CPCG), a scientific research centre based at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

Julie Pattemore, a PhD candidate from the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics who has been co-ordinating the exhibition, said: “Many of our scientists are creatively inspired by the beautiful and interesting images they come across every day in their research, and since 2004 the scientists at CPCG have been contributing their artworks to be displayed at the Centre’s very own annual art show.

“The exhibition is designed to foster a connection between the scientific research undertaken at Southern Cross University and the wider community through art.

“This year we have opened it up to other members of SCU and to the wider community, so it will not just be the scientists who contribute.

“All have been asked to exhibit on the wide theme of ‘vegetative visions’ — so anything to do with the plant kingdom is appropriate.

“It is always a surprise to see what artworks actually turn up for the exhibition.”

The exhibition will be opened by Ros Derrett, head of the Office of Regional Engagement, on Friday, May 16, at 5.30pm, at the ‘next art’ gallery, Goodman Plaza, at the Lismore campus.

Judges Associate Professor Jan Davis, from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and Susi Muddiman, director of the Tweed River Art Gallery, will award the winning artists with their prizes, which include book vouchers from the Co-Op Bookshop and a travel voucher from Plaza Travel, as well as other prizes sponsored by local businesses. There will also be a People’s Choice award.

Susi contemplated the theme of the exhibition: “When I think about it, there are many established visual artists who use the scientific world as their inspiration, so hopefully I’ll see some work by scientists thinking outside of their square.

“I see too that the prize has been opened up to other SCU staff members and to the wider community — this opportunity could create some exciting entries.”

The art show will include a broad cross-section of works including textiles, ceramics, paintings, photography, audio visual and the ever-popular scanning electron microscopy images turning the invisible into the dramatic.

Budding artists can submit their ready-to-hang works until noon on Wednesday, May 14. The exhibition runs until May 23.

For more information or to enter an artwork, contact Julie Pattemore on j.pattemore.16@scu.edu.au or phone 6620 3961 or 6620 3466.

PICTURE: This photograph is one of the works to be included in the Vegetative Visions exhibition.