Any great scientist will tell you there is an innate beauty in what they do. Field researchers in particular get many opportunities to see the majestic side of the natural environment that has become their ‘laboratory’, and someone with a good eye can often capture that splendor.
The Department of Earth Sciences has decided to feature some of those moments in an art installation in one of their public spaces. Sharon Deemer, a research associate with the department, reached out to her colleagues to comb through their photo collections for some of their most striking images.
“I sent a message out a year ago to get people to think about taking good photos over the summer when they went to their field areas,” she explained. “It took a while to get responses back because many had to go through their collections of photographs to find something suitable.”
Dr. Deemer says she undertook the project to show people the artistic side of the topics that they work with. She received hundreds of submissions, which she then had to sort and determine how the chosen pictures would ultimately fit together in terms of theme, size and colour distribution. In past weeks, the department has installed 33 of those images, now printed on 24 canvas panels, in their faculty/staff/graduate student lounge.
“All of the pictures are donated by people in the department and they represent areas of interest of faculty members,” she said. “We wanted to have the photos cover sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks, and all scales – from microscopic up to landscape – and to make sure the paleontology, or the animals, were also represented.”
The canvases were unveiled at a regular coffee break held for faculty, staff and graduate students in early April. Dr. Deemer says her next step is to create a booklet describing each photo to provide geological context for those who view the images on their own.