The scientific artist oeuvre

Experimental art

Science and art are considered polar opposites, irreconcilably divorced from each other. This binary is stifling, limiting the possibilities of artists-scientists’ interaction for creating something together,” says Michell Ora Ali, an Indo-Filipino artist, who is pursuing her major in Neuroscience and Behaviour from a community college in United States.

Ora’s exhibition, ‘Curiouser and Curiouser, An Experimental Exhibition about Paintbrushes and Petridishes’, tries to “dismantle the binaries that exist between science and art”.

Through her paintings, she has broken the stereotypes about artists that say they are devoid of logic and practice. According to her, artists undergo rigorous experimentation with technique, skill and texture. An abstract ‘red painting’ is her example of showing how it is scientific for the artist to experiment with different kinds of hues, not only boxed paints or acrylics.

The ‘red painting’ is of a woman, whose hair is flowing in the wind. Ora uses sand, terracotta liners, oil paints and acrylic for the painting. “I wanted to evoke different textures. It is not very different from scientists who invent new textures,” she tells Metrolife.

Anatomy drawing is not unknown to us. It is a less popular part of fine arts, also pursued by Leornado da Vinci. Ora says, “Scientists draw human anatomy to understand the functioning and also for visualisation. The more detailed the diagram is, it’s always easier to understand.”

In an abstract form of anatomy drawing, Ora paints various thin strands of red lines projecting out of a person’s head. Though the abstractness will also signify complications in one’s life, but Ora has drawn the projection like the neurons dancing.

In addition to these, paintings from other concepts were also displayed. Ora is 20-year-old, with immense enthusiasm. She has already exhibited six times (two solo), first one at the age of 12 years. She built the idea for this exhibition based on her experiences in life, where choosing between science and art has been tough. She intends to pursue Neuroaesthetics, where one studies the aesthetic perceptions of art and music by the mind.

The exhibition was on display at India Habitat Centre, Experimental Art Gallery from January 2 to 4.

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