Cranes and Communities Lead Artist Sean Harris spent a week ‘in residence’ with a group of students from Huish Sixth for work experience week. All students were studying either art or design along with a variety of non arts and humanities subjects including physics, biology and maths…. all subjects that are commonly perceived as being in direct opposition to ‘creative subjects’ – this project aimed to explore this perceived dichotomy and provide practical experience of being a working artist.

Sean Harris said:
‘I know, and have worked with or met many talented artists who are scientists – and vice versa – and whose practices in both fields are underpinned by creative thought. How is it so easily overlooked that Albert Einstein, arguably the most important physicist of the twentieth century and a talented violinist, said that his Theory of Relativity came to him first as a musical impulse? He wrote that he only used equations to communicate with other physicists; in his synesthetic mind, ‘science’ and ‘music’ were one.’

The students’ breadth of experience and knowledge was invaluable to this project as they worked alongside Sean, configuring an installation within the specific environment of a church, to be presented as part of Langport Festival.

Students designed and produced a glowing trails of foot, paw and hoof prints for the installation, to be shown alongside Sean’s work. These appeared to hang in the air above the stone floor, becoming more present as night fell.  This enchantingly simple yet hugely effective play with light and shadow was enabled by many cleverly designed and manufactured lanterns; the fruits of a process entailing brain-storming, a fortuitous find in the art department store cupboard, research and development (notwithstanding a gnawing anxiety related to the spectre of the dark room smoke alarm and being responsible for triggering an evacuation of the entire campus), and, finally, mass production!

It was a magnificent team effort which propagated the most intriguing part of the event. Imagine these trails outside in the landscape; hundreds, if not thousands of glowing lights forming trails mapping the contours of the landscape – an earth-bound Milky Way…

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