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Artists participating in vEGU21 (Credit: From the left: Stacy Phillips, Priyanka Das Rajkakati, Andy Emery, Kelly Stanford)

EGU news Four artists to be (not!) in residence at vEGU21

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European Geosciences Union

Four artists to be (not!) in residence at vEGU21

6 January 2021

Creative writer Andy Emery, science communicator Kelly Stanford, Lego photographer Stacy Phillips, and digital artist Priyanka Das Rajkakati are the scientist-artists who have been selected to participate in this year’s EGU General Assembly. Rebranded as vEGU21: Gather Online, the fully virtual meeting will highlight the contributions of these four talented artists, who will share their artwork via social media (using the hashtag #EGUart), on EGU blogs, and in the meeting’s official newsletter, EGU Today, for the duration of the 19–30 April Earth, planetary, and space science conference.

Kelly Stanford (@TheLabArtist) is a Manchester, UK-based science communicator and geography MSc student from the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute who uses the visual arts and other exciting interdisciplinary methods to help scientists worldwide communicate their work to the wider public. Her thesis is investigating how art and tabletop games can be used to enhance public understanding of flood risk, resilience, and climate-change topics. Stanford plans to create a series of “Sci-portraits” (portraits that fuse the scientists with their research) of geoscientists participating in the meeting. “I applied for the artist residency because I’m passionate about showing the more human side to research, and I’m hoping this collaboration will help scientists think about how they can incorporate interdisciplinarity into their work,” Stanford says. Along with Dan Parsons and Kostya Novoselov, she is also convening the hybrid research/art Education and Outreach Session Exploring the Art-Science Interface, which aims to showcase research and art collaboration alongside one another.

Andy Emery (@AndyDoggerBank) is a Scottish-based geologist, geophysicist, climber, and creative writer working for Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions. A specialist in reconstructing past landscapes, Emery uses poetic prose to help communicate the latest research to other geoscientists and the public to help them understand why the work that geoscientists do is so important for addressing societal challenges. “I decided to apply because I care passionately about the role of geosciences in a positive future for the planet,” Emery says. “By blending science and art, I hope to engage wide, diverse communities, opening science up to all and inspiring future generations to pursue geosciences.” He is also co-convening an interdisciplinary session, Geosciences at your service! Geoscientific solutions applied to current issues, during vEGU21.

Orogeny, a word rooted in deep time and immense stature. From the obscure, Caledonian, Penobscotian, Grenvillian, ancient mountains whose peaks still withstand weather, wind, rain, accumulating snow and fighting ice-age ripping and tearing, to the more familiar, the recent, the ongoing, Pyrenean, Alpine, Himalayan, nascent mountain ranges of stunning grandeur and lofty, sky-puncturing peaks.

Excerpt from Orogeny, Andy Emery, 2020

Two additional artists, Stacy Phillips (@Shtacy_Phillips), a recent graduate of the UK’s Open University who studies melting processes in the central Himalayas, and Priyanka Das Rajkakati, who just completed a PhD in precise satellite navigation at France’s ISAE-Supaéro, will both be returning for vEGU21 following their vital contributions to last year’s meeting after it pivoted to being fully online. “I had so much fun last year creating Lego photos for #shareEGU20 that I just had to come back again!” says Phillips. “As well as trying to represent amazing research in a fun and different way,” she says, “I hope that this year I can encourage other people to try doing the same, so I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes shots so everyone can see how simple it is to create engaging art.”

Das Rajkakati (@PriyankaSpace) adds, “I’m really looking forward to vEGU21, where I’ll be able to implement all the ideas that have been taking form in my mind since last year’s meeting. I strongly encourage other artists to join us and make Art+Science a common household term!”

The Artist in Residence programme, which provides artists and scientists with opportunities to exchange ideas in person during the annual meeting, will remain an integral part of vEGU21. “The artwork that Stacy and Priyanka created last year added a truly dynamic component to EGU’s first online meeting,” says EGU Programme Committee Chair Peter van der Beek. “Their new contributions, along with Kelly’s and Andy’s, will ensure that #EGUart in many mediums remains a highlight of the annual General Assembly.”


Peter van der Beek
EGU Programme Committee Chair

Terri Cook
EGU Head of Media, Communications, and Outreach


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