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Science in Colour

By Hamish Johnston

‘Three-particle distribution function’ (2007/2009) by Frédérique Swist
An artistic interpretation of a distribution function of a third particle around two fixed particles in a two-dimensional colloidal liquid. This image refers to a mathematical model, used theoretically to calculate the probability of each of the three particles existing in a certain spatial position.

If you happen to be in Bristol over the next few weeks why not pop into Cafe-At-Bristol at the Harbourside to see an exhibition of art inspired by the often beautiful forms that are created when scientific data are visualized.

The artist is IOP Publishing’s very own Frédérique Swist, and her show starts today and runs until 27 February.

Fred is Senior Graphic Designer here at Dirac House and she tells me that much of the inspiration for her art comes from her work designing brochures and other literature for IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics.

She says that her work can be divided into three categories. The first includes images in which she has maintained the core scientific meaning of data, usually used in promotional materials for specific physics journals.

The second includes pieces in which she has made significant changes to the original data, usually used in more general corporate literature. ‘Three-particle distribution function’ is an example of such a work and it appeared on our 2008 Christmas card.

Finally, there are the pieces that are inspired by physics, but have been created artistically by Fred. An example is ‘Split-ring resonator’ — a work in which many physicists will recognize the iconic split rings used to make metamaterials, and others will appreciate for its artistic merit.

Indeed, Fred sums up her work: “Each piece can be appreciated on different levels; from pure abstraction to material inspired by the most advanced physics research, it provides viewers with the opportunity to form their own interpretations, and to choose ways to engage visually and/or intellectually with the imagery.”

fred 2.jpg

Science in Colour
Tuesday 3 – Friday 27 February 2009
Café-At-Bristol, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB
Opening time: 10am to 5pm daily

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One comment to Science in Colour

  1. Science only takes you so far. Imagination has to do the rest. very cool art.


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