CSM X CMS: Entangled

CSM X CMS: Entangled | 14 – 17 June | MA Art and Science 2017

 

CSM X CMS: Entangled 

DATES: Wed 14 – Sat 17 June 2017

LOCATION: Four Corners Gallery, London, 121 Roman Road, E2 0QN, Bethnal Green

OPENING TIMES: Wed to Sat | 10.00 – 18.00

PRIVATE VIEW: Thurs 15 June | 18.00 – 20.30

A3-high res-CRN

Placing themselves firmly at the centre of contemporary Art and Science discourse, nineteen artists from Central Saint Martins respond to their December 2016 visit to CERN and the CMS detector in their exhibition at Four Corners Gallery, London, June 14-17, 2017. The striking array of work confirms that when creative minds grasp universal concepts, at the core of our material understanding of the universe, you can expect the unexpected.

About the Exhibition

Sculpture, film, printmaking, sound and art installations are just some of the outcomes from reflections on their surprising discoveries from the trip, including a rare look at the inside of the CMS detector experiment, particles in cloud chambers that may help us understand climate change, and the baffling quantity and randomness of data produced to confirm minute particle reactions.

Additionally, there is the memorable impression of the deeper social context of the institution itself. Often in parallel with what drives artists, scientists are striving to grasp the unknown and offer their discoveries to humanity in an ethos of sharing and openness. Artists recognise the exhilaration of new perspectives relating to what we are made of and, also seek to make fresh connections and intuitive leaps in understanding.

In preparation for the exhibition, between 8-11 May a number of the artists returned to CERN for further research and collaboration with the physicists. During the exhibition workshops, artist talks and other activities will take place in the gallery space. We are grateful to CMS and art@cms for making our visits possible.

 

Participating Artists

Allison Barclay-Michaels, Stephen Bennett, Joshua Bourke, Amy Knight, Reggy Liu, Maria Macc, Fiona Morf, Jill Mueller, Priya Odedra, Helen O’Donoghue, Yun Peng, Lisa Pettibone, Heather Scott, Hannah Scott, Nicolas Strappini, Olga Suchanova, Bekk Wells, Victoria Westerman and guest artist Andy Charalambous (CSM lecturer and CERN consultant in association with Imperial College, London)

 

MA Art and Science at Imperial College

Words and images by Neus Torres Tamarit, Nicolas Strappini, Stephen Bennett, Heather Scott, Hazel Chiang; edited by Stephen Bennett

April 2017 saw a collaboration between MA Art and Science and Imperial College, at the Centre for Doctoral Training Festival of Science and Art. Several artists from the course exhibited their works at the college, an interactive data visualisation was conducted, and other students engaged in the lively debate and discussion during the event’s seminars and lectures.

The Centres emphasise cross-disciplinary collaboration at their heart. Specific Centres focus on issues which do not have an obvious home in existing academic institutions or infrastructures, and include ‘Advanced Characterisation of Materials’, ‘Mathematics of Planet Earth’ and ‘Controlled Quantum Dynamics’.

The Centres are natural partners for Central Saint Martin’s MA Art and Science. The MA course also has cross-disciplinary collaboration at its core. For example, Neus Torres Tamarit is an artist with 10 years of experience exhibiting work at the national and international level. Ben Murray has 20 years’ experience including working in bioinformatics and genomics. The two collaborated to produce work which explores the idea that an organism is limited by the success of the mutations of its ancestors. Confined Mutations, on display at the Festival, shows three abstract entities that progress through a sequence of changes, eventually looping around to beginning. The forms are trapped in an endless cycle, representing evolved features that constrain future structural mutations and cannot be undone.

The project has resulted from a creative process involving risk taking, failure and uncertainty, with both the creators’ disciplinary backgrounds shaping the work at key points. Neus developed certain aesthetic forms through object oriented programing in Java code. Ben modified the code to create different shapes using random seeds. Neus then saw a strong connection between the shape and the diagram about the recurring laryngeal nerve in mammals that has evolved from fish, which, because of adaptation, has become entangled with the system of arteries.

Confined Mutations, Neus Torres Tamarit and Ben Murray

Confined Mutations, Neus Torres Tamarit and Ben Murray

Nicolas Strappini produced work for the festival which explores the importance of creative processes in both art and science. He has investigated the use of electricity as an artistic tool, using a Wimshurst machine to charge up plastic surfaces with electricity then dusting toner powders on the surface. Through this, Nicolas has visualised the invisible Lichtenberg figures left in the plastics: the works are direct visual representations of electricity. Nicolas used the festival to engage with scientists about the processes at play in his work. For example, MRes student Jeevan Soor helped Nicolas discover how James Maxwell’s equations describe Lichtenberg figures. Nicolas also learnt more about how the toner dusting method he has used to make artworks is also used in forensic science. Not dissimilar to Nicolas’ process for the Festival, forensic scientists use a device that generates static charge, and the charge draws the dust from the print on to the black plastic.

Static, Nicolas Strappini

Static, Nicolas Strappini

Stephen Bennett took the concept of engagement and collaboration a step further. He presented an empty grid, showing only 10 degree intervals of longitude and latitude. He then asked Festival attendees at the Imperial Science Festival “Where are you from?” Upon deciding their answer, participants took a transparent red square and affixed it to a grid map of the world. Thus, the scientists at the festival were the people who created the artwork.

“But I don’t know where I am from!” – attendee at the Festival

As well as exploring questions of authorship and collaboration, the exercise probed at questions relating to identity, maps and statistics. One student mused “I was born in Mumbai, but feel British” – where do I stick the square?  A Chinese student assumed that the large cluster of dots in the middle of the map represented China, on the basis that “whenever I see a map of the world China is in the middle of it”. Her partner, from South Carolina, argued that the centre of the map was more likely to represent Britain. Another lady, from Cyprus, put her sticker in the far bottom right (near the coordinates for Australia), initially thinking the map showed Europe. Some individuals deliberately disrupted the data. One placed about seven of the transparent squares on China “to make it redder”. Another placed three stickers, representing three parts of the world he had spent time in during his early years (Chile, UK and the Middle East).

Interactive Data Visualisation of student identity: Imperial Science Festival 2017, Stephen Bennett

Interactive Data Visualisation of student identity: Imperial Science Festival 2017, Stephen Bennett

Interaction was also at the heart of Heather Scott’s installation for the Festival. The piece explored what is happening inside and beyond a Kerr-Newman solution to a black hole. Using spheres to house these manifestations, like the energy built up inside a black hole and dimensions cracking into ours, it creates an interactive piece where the viewer can walk around, see into and watch these different aspects. As with Stephen and Nicolas, Heather also used the opportunity to meet with scientists, some of whom worked on issues related to black holes. Heather asked audience about their own views on what is inside or beyond a black hole. She knew from previous experience that everyone appears to have very differing opinions. The Festival provided an opportunity to find out what scientists thought, why they have that idea, and exchanging what Heather has learnt about the different possibilities through her artistic practice.

Installation, Heather Scott

Installation, Heather Scott

Hazel Chiang uses art to push at the boundaries of what science can really tell us, and when science may break down. She based her work on the “liar paradox” (“this sentence is false”) which indicates the formal logic system may break down work when things are self-referential. The arrow in Hazel’s piece, shown below, can never reach its target since the target and bowstring are the same thing. As science is based on logic, limitations will show when trying to examine the system itself. However, we can spot this error because our mind is more than this tool. Hazel’s postulation is that the reality and the language of science might not fit as we always assume.

Liar Paradox, Hazel Chiang

Liar Paradox, Hazel Chiang

MA Art and Science Pathway Leader, Heather Barnett, also exhibited work from The Physarum Experiments, an ongoing ‘collaboration’ with an intelligent slime mould.

The Physarum Experiments Study No: 019 The Maze, by Heather Barnett

The Physarum Experiments Study No: 019 The Maze, by Heather Barnett

If you are inspired by these art and science collaborations, please follow us on Twitter or Instagram, share this blog and come and see our work! There are some good opportunities to see our work in forthcoming exhibitions:

  • The MA Art and Science 2017 degree show, Third Matter, takes place between Wed 24 – Sun 28 May at 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA (third floor). The opening times are Wed to Fri 12.00 – 20.00 | Sat to Sun 12.00 – 18.00.
  • CSM × CMS: Entangled, a show about MA Art and Science’s collaboration with CERN particle physics laboratory, takes place from June 14-17, 2017 at the Four Corners Gallery in London. Opening times are 10:00-6:00pm.
  • MA Art and Students are in the middle of a residency at THECUBE London, focused on Embodiment and Emotion. Attend one of the Em-Em events, visible here, to meet some interesting speakers and see their art.

Work from MA Art and Science recently published in Interalia Magazine

Interalia Magazine is an online platform dedicated to the interactions between the arts, sciences and consciousness. Several staff, students and graduates from MA Art and Science have published work in the interdisciplinary magazine in the three years since it began. 

Recent publications include two contributions for Emerging Ideas from current students, Stephen Bennett and Tere Chad

Stephen’s article, available here, considers the role that art can play in the gap between science and public decision-making. Data visualisation and maps are central to his analysis, as evidenced by recent works such as Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East, and Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (both pictured). Stephen’s work is particularly relevant to this month’s edition of Interalia magazine which is entitled Earth, and explores the Arts and Sciences relating to Climate Change, Ecology and Ecosystems, Geology, Soil Culture, and the Anthropocene Era.

Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East (stained glass, chalk, light). Data originally sourced from http://www.climatewizard.org

Stephen Bennett (2017) Data stained glass showing projected impact of climate change on Middle East (stained glass, chalk, light). Data originally sourced from http://www.climatewizard.org

Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (glass paint on glass, wooden stand)

Stephen Bennett (2016) Transparent data maps, Bristol Channel (glass paint on glass, wooden stand)

In the February 2017 issue, Tere Chad was the subject of an article relating to Fusion – Haka Piri. The article, available here, describes Tere Chad’s goldsmith collection which has been inspired by Easter Island archaeology and culture. Examples of Tere Chad’s jewellery are pictured below.

Fusion - Haka Piri

Tere Chad (2016) Fusion – Haka Piri

Fusion- Haka Piri

Tere Chad (2016) Fusion- Haka Piri

Future editions of Interalia magazine involving MA Art and Science include the September 2017 issue which will be co-edited by Heather Barnett (Pathway Leader for MA Art and Science). The issue, The Subjective Lives of Others, will bring together essays and art works exploring nonhuman subjectivity and collective behaviour.

Somehow You and I Collide – MA Interim Show, 16-19 March

Somehow You and I Collide showcases the work of over 70 postgraduate art students in the first year of their course, be it MA Art and Science, MA Fine Art or MA Photography at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

Somehow You and I Collide

Somehow You and I Collide

Housed in the underground post-industrial space of Mangle in London’s East End, the space provides a perfect backdrop for contemporary work that considers what it means to make in today’s economic and political landscape.

Sharing their postgraduate work publicly for the first time, the students span the full scope of media from painting, sculpture, video, performance, and experimental interactive works. Their approaches are diverse and address a range of themes including – but by no means limited to – identity, celebrity, reality, chaos, and excess.

What brings these works together is a shared sense of urgency, the art shown in Somehow You and I Collide is work that needs to be made and needs to be shown.

Please join us for an event that is sure to be exciting and thought-provoking.

Somehow You and I Collide

Mangle
2-18 Warburton Road, E8 3FN

Private View Thursday 16 March: 6 – 9pm

Exhibition continues 17-19 March: 12 – 6pm

Cryptic Art & Science, exhibition 4-8 October

 

‘Cryptic – Art & Science’ is an innovative show bringing together the work of 15 international artists and scientists from the Central Saint Martins’ Postgraduate Art programme.

Cryptic Art & Science

The participating artists, who are entering into the final year of their MA Art and Science studies, will be investigating topics including: what does our genetic make-up say about us; how we are connected to the earth through molecular energy; the new materiality of being human in the 21st Century; the ritual of memory and extinction; climate change and the rise of the seas; collective consciousness and what lies beyond the ‘event horizon’ – peering into a black hole.

 

An inventive approach is taken to the use of media with artists coming from a diversity of professional and creative backgrounds such as engineering, fine art, publishing, art and film production, theatre, photography, psychology, textile design and storytelling. Inspired by their individual connections with science a wide range of processes and media is used to respond to the issues considered. Expect toothpicks, latex, digital and video platforms, emerging biological forms and chemical reactions.

 

The exhibition will include works developed from collaborations with scientists, experiments with processes and the use of familiar materials as a novel medium for artistic exploration and influences from current and ongoing scientific inquiry.

 

Commenting on the event, Neus Torres Tamarit, as curator and exhibiting artist says: “This student-initiated show comes at the moment before we commence our final year of study. It showcases the creative energy and the evolution of our investigations as we prepare for our degree show.” Inspiring, pioneering and risk taking the artists wish to engage with the audience to inform, educate and challenge.

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The show is kindly supported by The Bree Louise and Call Print.

 

Cryptic – Art & Science

Private View:  4 October, from 6pm – 9pm

Open to the Public: 5 – 7 October, 10am – 7pm & 8 October 10am – 6pm
Meet the artists: 6 October, from 6pm – 9pm

 

The Crypt Gallery, Euston Rd, London NW1 2BA

cryptgallery.org

www.facebook.com/events/crypticartsci

RSVP

 

In-kind support by The Bree Louise and Call Print

Exhibition curated by Neus Torres Tamarit

Press release by Maria Macc

Poster design by Heather Scott

 

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Transport Links to Crypt

On Foot:

The Crypt Gallery, Euston Rd, London NW1 2BA

Click here for a link to our address entered into the interactive map on the TFL website which shows all local bus stops and routes.

 

Train:

Euston is the obvious choice if you’re looking to travel to us by train, although we’re a short walk from King’s Cross and a number of other stations including: Euston Square, Warren Street and Russell Square.

Bus:

The 59, 68, 91, 168 & N91 all stop nearby and if you don’t mind a very short walk you can also hop on the 10, 18, 30, 73, 205, 390, N73 & N205

 

 

Sarah Craske wins this year’s NOVA Award with Biological Hermeneutics

Sarah Craske, recent graduate from MA Art and Science, takes top prize at the prestigious MullenLowe Nova Awards. We asked her about the award winning project and what she’s going to do next…

The NOVA Award received by Sarah Craske & collaborator Dr Simon Park, from Jose Miguel Sokoloff - President of MullenLowe Group Creative Council

The NOVA Award received by Sarah Craske & collaborator Dr Simon Park, from Jose Miguel Sokoloff – President of MullenLowe Group Creative Council

 

What is Biological Hermeneutics?

The work Biological Hermeneutics explores what a transdiscipline can look like, through the speculative presentation of a collaborative approach to knowledge and data, practice and space, language and method, equipment and materials.

The translation of an historical text – a 1735 copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – was presented through artistic and scientific enquiry. Our Bacterial Printing methodologies were demonstrated by the inclusion of the microbiology still growing in bioassay dishes, cultured directly from the book’s pages and installed on shelves similar to those found in walk in incubators. Our developing archive of book bacteria was also installed alongside The Metamorphoses Chapter; digital and silk screen prints that accurately located the bacterial colonies back onto the original pages themselves. These results, interpreted by myself, reinforce the contextual view, which is so important to me as an artist – human interaction with Ovid’s tales having been brought back to life.

The work, which has taken over two years to develop, was created in collaboration with microbiologist Dr Simon Park and historian of science Professor Charlotte Sleigh. 

Biological Hermeneutics installed in Degree Show One. From left to right, The Metamorphoses Chapter, Biological Hermeneutic Printing, The Biological Hermeneutic Archive, The Metamorphoses Chapter.

Biological Hermeneutics installed in Degree Show One. From left to right, The Metamorphoses Chapter, Biological Hermeneutic Printing, The Biological Hermeneutic Archive, The Metamorphoses Chapter.

 

How do you feel about winning the top prize of the Nova Awards?

Surprised. It’s really wonderful to win. It is reassuring that what we have been so intently pursuing over the past two years is recognised to have some cultural value. The work has felt risky, uncomfortable and difficult at times, so it is rewarding that it is being recognised for the risk and innovation we have been trying so hard to apply and achieve. Also personally as an artist, I am seeking recognition that the work contributes and furthers debate within creative practice, which I believe this award endorses.

A detail from The Metamorphoses Chapter

A detail from The Metamorphoses Chapter

 

What will the prize enable you to do?

I will be reinvesting the money into continued transdisciplinary practice. We haven’t decided yet what this will exactly mean – I didn’t expect Biological Hermeneutics to win, so no plans had been made! However, the award now enables further risk taking to take place, which I hope will lead to further innovation. It provides the space to enable experimentation, which is invaluable and a rare opportunity. Usually with money comes required outcomes and targets, this award genuinely allows for creative freedom. We have talked about developing a printing process using bacterial inks developed from the bacteria found on the book … we could do more scientific testing to see where that leads. 

A detail from the Biological Hermeneutic Library.

A detail from the Biological Hermeneutic Library.

 

Why was it important to work in a transdisciplinary way?

I personally believe the collaboration of disciplines is extremely important. My MA Art & Science research focused on the importance and role of creativity in solving what are philosophically named ‘wicked problems’. Issues of knowledge, data, sustainability, global warming, etc… I believe can only really be solved if the disciplines are able to work together, whilst retaining their expertise and specialism. This is reinforced by the funding councils also recognising this potential in collaboration, who are now encouraging interdisciplinary practice. Therefore, trying to create a truly collaborative and inclusive practice role model is extremely important to me. Biological Hermeneutics was a speculative proposal of what a transdiscipline could look like.

I think more genuine art and science collaboration is occurring, however there are still challenges to overcome to enable Art & Science practice to become easier. These disciplines have been developing and establishing themselves for hundreds of years, and some of the results of that are the institutional mechanisms that now have difficulty in adapting to new ways of working, which breakdown these established boundaries. To put this into context, the MA Art & Science is the only Masters programme of its kind currently in the UK. 

A detail of the biological hermeneutic printing methodology.

A detail of the biological hermeneutic printing methodology.

All photography by Vic Phillips


 

Congratulations to all other winners of the Nova and to those shortlisted from a pool of 1300 graduating Central Saint Martins art and design students – especially to MA Art and Science graduate Julius Colwyn, shortlisted for his work In the Midst of Things.

In the Midst of Things, Julius Colwyn

In the Midst of Things, Julius Colwyn


 

Read more about the Nova Awards in the press

Creative Review

The Creators Project

MullenLowe: About the Nova Awards

 

Our Laughter will Drown Your Sorrows: MA Interim Show, 18-20 March

NEXT WEEK: Our Laughter will Drown Your Sorrows

MA Interim Show at The Laundry, Hackney

Students and staff of the Year 1  MA Art & Science, MA Fine Art and MA Photography, cordially invite you to their MA Interim Show :  Our Laughter will Drown Your Sorrows   

Our Laughter will Drown Your Sorrows showcases the work of over 70 CSM postgraduate art students.    The students are all in the first year of their Postgraduate courses,  MA Art & Science, MA Fine Art, and MA Photography.

The underground post industrial setting of The Laundry space in London’s east end provides the perfect backdrop for contemporary work that considers what it means to make in today’s bleak economic and political landscape.  Working as an artists today in London is undoubtedly challenging, and these emerging artists address the problems with a dynamic and politicised vigour.

The students work across the full scope of media available to artists today, including, painting, sculpture, video, performance, and interactive works etc.  Their interests are diverse and address a range of ideas including identity, celebrity, chaos and excess. What brings these works together is a shared sense of urgency, the art shown in Our Laughter Will Drown Your Sorrows is work that needs to be made and needs to be shown.

As part of the exhibition there will be a collaborative fanzine produced and manufactured on site by the students themselves. Please join us for an event that is sure to be exciting and confrontational.           

Open to the Public: Friday 18 March – Sunday 20 March   11am – 5pm

The Laundry, 2-8 Warburton Road, London E8 3FN

Event Info

 

Space ship hosts planning meeting for MA Art and Science Degree Show

 

For 4 days in early February MA Art and Science set up house in an a 1960s space ship to collectively explore the curation and design of the up coming degree show (25-29 May 2016). Key questions centred around how to build a coherent show that celebrates the diversity of individual approach while also revealing the shared creative and intellectual threads that are emerging within the group. Stephanie Wong records the events that took place between 8 – 11 February in the Futuro House.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week the second years of MA Art and Science spent four days in Futuro House, a retro space ship located on the terrace of the CSM King’s Cross building. Having just finished the intense experience of dissertation writing this was the first opportunity for everyone to come together and plan for the degree show. On the agenda was curation, design, research and the sharing of ideas.

Like the previous two years the degree show will be taking place in the Crossing at King’s Cross. This is the entrance to the main Central Saint Martins building and is technically a public walkway. With a height of four floors and an imposing breadth this huge space poses unique opportunities, as well as serious challenges, one of the biggest being we are not allowed to hang anything from the walls and the ceilings. What does this mean? In order to display any work we have to build a structure to do so.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fortunately for us, due to the eclectic nature of the course there are two students with architectural backgrounds, both of whom had been working hard to come up with a design for a structure that would display our work. Facilitated by course leader Nathan Cohen and artist Susan Aldworth the first day was spent discussing the design and sharing concepts for each of our work and how this would best be displayed.

The second day kicked off with a lego building workshop run by Graham Barton. This is not normal lego but architectural lego and the completely white building blocks are used conceptually, constructing whilst holding questions in mind. Tailor made for us these were: What is my practice? What do I aspire to present as part of the degree show? What are my aspirations for the curation of the degree show? The appeal of lego seems to transcend age with the hands on building being quite meditative. Lead tutor Heather Barnett led us through the day which allowed each individual to really question what we want and think much more freely and thoughtfully about our work.

12718339_10156627735330089_2142243747061917062_n copy

 

The final day involved another visit from Susan Aldworth and tutor Adrian Holme. This was spent discussing how to incorporate research and process into the curation of the show. What became apparent in the conversations was that the cross-disciplinary collaborations that make this course unusual need to be presented. Furthermore, art and science as a notion requires more than exhibiting finished pieces, in which the methodologies have equal if not crucial importance to the final meaning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Being locked in a spaceship for a week turned out to be an incredibly fruitful experience. Some of the developments included: final design for the structure, a film that will be made documenting the degree show process, symposium plans, ‘brain dump’ for the title and fundraising ideas. The most exciting outcome was the enthusiasm and motivation of the group as a whole.

So watch this space…

(no pun intended)

 

 

Alice Cazenave discusses her camera-less photographic process

Experimental artist and scientist Alice Cazenave reveals the story behind her intriguing camera-less photographs made using leaves. Alice takes you inside her work, on site at Central Saint Martins in London during the UAL Summer Shows, as she graduates from the world’s only MA Art and Science course.

Find out more about the summer shows at <a href=”http://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/summer-shows/”>http://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/su…</a>

MellissaFisher_MicrobialMe

MA Art & Science student, Mellissa Fisher, shows new bacterial portrait at Eden Project’s ‘Invisible You’ exhibition

MA Art & Science student, Mellissa Fisher, has undertaken a commission for Eden Project’s exciting new microbiome exhibition, which opens today.

The Eden Project are well known for nurturing and displaying ecosystems, but now they’re taking a closer look at the invisible ecosystem within the human body; the ‘microbiome’.

Whether it’s bacteria in your gut to help you digest food, or microbes on your skin to keep it soft and fill the cracks to prevent disease, microscopic life is found everywhere in and on our bodies. In fact, human cells are outnumbered 10:1 by bacteria inside our body. But scientists are only just beginning to understand how these organisms – which have evolved with us over time – can affect all sorts of things, from our weight to our mood to our susceptibility to autism.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust, Eden invited a handful of talented artists to help bring this invisible world to life. Many of them collaborating with scientists, the artists created an amazing collection of artwork, installations and interactive pieces – ranging from a sound piece based on DNA, to sculptures and textiles exploring the patterns of bacteria, to a series of portraits depicting the bacteria within our belly buttons.

The exhibition puts everything from pregnancy and faeces to guts and antibiotics under the microscope. You’ll never look at your body in quite the same way again…

Mellissa created ‘Microbial Me’, a microbiological portrait, developed in collaboration with Dr Richard Harvey and Dr Mark Clements.

For more info about the project visit the Eden Project Invisible You website.

Watch Mellissa talking about the project.

Visit Mellissa’s website.