Lecture: The Art of Science  

On Thursday 13 November, a lecture celebrating our recent outstanding exhibition of the abstract artwork of the late Sandra Blow and discussing art and science in modern society was held in the Heseltine Gallery. The Art of Science was led by Deputy Headmaster Nick Fisher, and was followed by a supper sponsored by the Friends of Truro School. Sandra Blow worked in Cornwall for a year from 1957 to 1958 and went on to teach at the Royal College of Art from 1960. She was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1973, and later lived and worked in Cornwall.


Nick Fisher’s lecture was inspired by his passion for both creative arts and the sciences, which have been influential in the development of our visual culture and modern society. The lecture illuminated some of the intersections of Art and Science from the Renaissance to the revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The title of the lecture deliberately had an ambiguous meaning to reflect the fact there is often more than one interpretation when it comes to Science and Art.


The lecture illustrated the Art of Science in terms of its methods, shining a spotlight on the importance of creativity; it also looked at mutual influence, with examples of artists inspiring scientists and scientific developments inspiring revolutionary artistic movements. This was particularly significant during the developments of relativity, curved space and wave-particle duality, which coincided with a growth in abstract geometrised Art in the early 20th century.


Mr. Fisher said: “This year, the CBI publicly acknowledged that the creative industries constitute one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK. This raises alarm bells in response to the recent launch of the Government’s new national curriculum which overlooks the importance of Art, Design, Dance, Drama and Music. This is short-sighted.  It may deprive the next generation of some of the cultural and creative skills they will need in a world that increasingly relies on multi-platforming approaches to solving problems.”


The lecture examined the key to creativity which comes from the ability to recognise connections. Such connections between subjects need to be nurtured. By cutting off connections early on, we will cut off creativity in the future. This will not just damage the creative industries but it may also limit the success of our future scientists and engineers.


The creative arts are a key component of a balanced curriculum.  In the words of Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate Museums and Galleries: “By recognising the importance of Art and studying it at depth, we give the next generation of designers, engineers, creators and cultural leaders the opportunity to develop the imagination and skills that are vital to our future.”


Nick Fisher will be giving this lecture again at the Truro Methodist Church in January 2015.