Selected feedback from our first exhibition at The North Wall, Oxford
28th May – 13th June 2014
Responses from arts and science professionals to requests for specific feedback on content and relevance to audiences
Kate White, Head of Access & Public Relations, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
I enjoyed this exhibition, although it was challenging and required more ‘work’ than the average art show. We arrived just in time for the talk, which was very interesting. I was quite shocked by the detailed content and realise that we just don’t know or question enough of what goes on. I think it is difficult to adjust expectations when a gallery concerns itself with serious scientific issues, but the talk helped extend the learning off the page and into everyday life and drive the point home: this is not just an exercise in ideas, but there are real consequences. So the combination worked well.
Increasingly I find contemporary art shows unsatisfying, or over-indulgent. This was a refreshing show in the precise juxtaposition of the visual work with the important, thought-provoking content, so they worked off each other.
Amoret Spooner, Ecologist, University of Oxford
The exhibition was both engaging and inspiring. The concepts were portrayed imaginatively through both art and scientific facts.
As a scientist I am aware of environmental issues such as the reduction of habitat and the use of chemicals that have serious effects on wildlife and therefore, us. The way in which ‘Lost & Found’ identified these issues and the manner they were exhibited, I feel, will appeal to scientists, artists and the general public. It enables people to not only understand the problems being faced, but more importantly grasp the sheer magnitude of them and how desperately important it is for something to be done – before it’s too late.
The layout and content of the exhibition allowed the viewer to be fully involved. There was a range of methods used to highlight the key points, most memorable for me was a striking video showing a small patch of lavender vs a huge field of wheat. This was an excellent way of identifying how vital plants are for wildlife – in this example for bees. Leading on from that, the talk, museum bee specimens and faux journal articles written about the species brought together science and art in a way that was truly insightful.
Being able to express such important environmental issues through the use of art and science together, like the ‘Lost & Found’ exhibition has managed to do in such a succinct and imaginative way, is possibly the best way to get people’s attention.