British artist, Conrad Shawcross will complete his residency at the Science Museum
with Protomodel, a series of five small-scale artworks dispersed throughout the Mathematics gallery, on view from May 12th through November 13th, 2011.
Protomodel opens up a playful, questioning dialogue exploring how model-making, natural processes, cultural practices and historical circumstances all play their part in mathematical thinking.
Paying homage to the influence the Mathematics gallery has had on his practice, Shawcross has created 5 artworks* that are displayed alongside the gallerys distinctively stylised displays of mathematical instruments, machines and models. Shawcrosss works respond to the tactile, material imperfections of experimental mathematical models that seek to demonstrate concepts that cannot be seen or touched and attempt to represent the invisible. From a tangled, coiling length of swarf that describes the perplexing relation between the centre and periphery of a spinning drill, to a set of 'Celestial Metres' that might act as standard measures for the inhabitants of other planets, Shawcross's works express a creative curiosity about the way in which mathematics is expressed in the real world.
Conrad Shawcross said: Throughout my life the Science Museum has always been a great source of inspiration to me. To have had the opportunity to delve into the collection and be given access to the incredible resources of the Museum, not least the minds of some of the brilliant curators, will feed my work for years to come.
Ruth Fenton, Assistant Curator of Science Museum Art Projects said: "The intelligence, wit and enquiry that Protomodel brings to the Mathematics gallery offers a fascinating and thought-provoking response to mathematical certainty and the beauty revealed through experimental model-making.
As part of his residency Shawcross has also developed a curatorial exhibition concept, which extends his personal investigations into the construction of certainty and beliefs in science. Shawcross will select objects from the collection to be shown alongside his own and other contemporary artists work and will be developed for the Science Museum Arts Projects future programme.