Under the Microscope – science as art – IanVisits

A notable scientist has been remembered in an exhibition that is half artwork and half science display.

Olive Elizabeth Aykroyd studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin in the 1930s, obtaining a PhD in 1938, at a time when it was still unusual for women to pursue a career in science.

As was conventional at the time, she married and became a housewife, only returning to science when the children were older, initially as a teacher and then Cytologist.

When she died in 1991, her archive was handed to her children, who knew little of her early scientific research. Inspired by her brass microscope and scientific research her daughter, artist Mary Pritchard, has created a homage to her life and work.

The combined exhibition and art installation brings together a variety of media and archival material, from biological slides and scientific papers to photographs and letters, revealing the personal history of Olive the scientist.

It’s a curious display, being at once very intimate and personal about one individual, who none of us can be expected to have ever heard of, but who gets a homage often reserved for the great minds.

Mixed in amongst the scientific slides and watercolours of what she saw under the microscope are personal letters, a near miss when the Germans sank a ship they were on, and letters of respect from her college in Dublin.

It’s a different way of presenting science, and one that goes far beyond the slides and microscopes to the person behind the white lab jacket.

The exhibition, Under the Microscope is open at the Guildhall Library until 16th May and is free to visit.

It’s opening hours are… complicated.

Source : https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2018/04/04/under-the-microscope-science-as-art/