• Creativity and Curiosity

    Exploring the richness of space imagery through engaging in creative dialogue with academic researchers.

    Curiosity and Creativity

    Conversations between artists and astronomers

    Creativity and Curiosity is a project led by Acuity Arts who are collaborating with three artists, Ione Parkin RWA, Alison Lochhead and Gillian McFarland, whose work draws connections and inspiration from astronomy and space.


    This is an exciting partnership where the three artists have been collaborating with astronomers and planetary geologists to produce an exhibition with related discussions.

    The artists are interpreting the universe through the materials of their own disciplines – painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and glass blowing.
    The result is a new perspective on the fabulously rich imagery of space, involving scientists and the wider community in a creative dialogue around current thinking and research about the universe.

    The project is supported by the Royal Astronomical Society, who have awarded initial funds for creative research which will lead towards a touring exhibition.

    Curiosity and Creativity


  • Meet the Artists

    Gillian Adair McFarland LSA SSA

    Paper & Glass

    Gillian works with experimental blown glass and punctured paper pieces. Her work has featured in numerous group shows, including the Royal Society of Arts Summer Show, Cork St Open, and the Frieze Art Fair, as well as in four solo exhibitions.

    Ione Parkin RWA

    Mixed media and canvas

    Ione Parkin has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including solo shows in Baltimore (USA), London, Cambridge, Bristol and her home city of Bath. Her work is in numerous private and corporate collections.

    Ali Lochhead

    Sculptor, metal, glass and stone

    Ali Lochhead,sculptor, has participated in countless group and solo exhibitions in the UK, the USA and New Zealand and has worked internationally in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Asia.

  • Meet the Astronomers

    Our Partners

    University of Leicester, Astrophysics & Space Science

    University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy

    Imperial College London, Astrophysics

    Our Collaborators

    Martin Barstow Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Science Projects, Director, Leicester Institute of Space & Earth Observation, Professor of Astrophysics & Space Science, University of Leicester


    Sue Bowler Editor, Astronomy & Geophysics Magazine for the RAS School of Earth and Environment University of Leeds


    John Bridges Professor of Planetary Science Space Research Centre Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation University of Leicester


    Robin Catchpole Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


    Carolin Crawford Public Astronomer Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


    Denis Erkal Post Doc at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


    Gary Fildes Kielder Observatory


    Morgan Fraser Royal Society SFI University Research Fellow University College Dublin


    Tom Haworth Research Fellow Imperial College, London


    Steve Holmes Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society Technical Programme Manager at Oculus Research, Redmond, WA, USA


    Martin Johnson Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Sciences, Christ's College Cambridge


    Deyan Mihaylov Post Doc at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


    Barnaby J. Rickett Emeritus Professor UC San Diego


    Sarah Russell Head of Mineral & Planetary Sciences Natural History Museum, London


    Mark Simms Professor in Astrobiology & Space Instrumentation, National Space Research Centre University of Leicester


    Nial Tanvir Professor of Astronomy University of Leicester


    Amaury Triaud Post doc at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


    Roberto Trotta Reader in Astrophysics Imperial College, London


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