Professor Eleanor Gates-Stuart, College of Planning & Design and the Institute of Creative Industries (ICID) at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (R.O.C), Scitech Artist in Residence 2016 – Rio Tinto Innovation Central, Western Australia.
Professor Eleanor Gates- Stuart is a creative and innovative Techno Art Professor who has an in depth knowledge in both art and science, including a Doctoral Degree in Science Communication from the Australian National University and currently visiting artist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). She understands a concept of looking through simple objects and analysis of its deeper meaning in data and research. She is able to utilise art in an innovative way to collaborate both science and expression of meaning which forms a multi-perspective artwork using various forms of technology. Her current residency at Scitech is a collaboration with CSIRO’s Mineral Division that has resulted with her ‘Under the Surface’ interactive installation that focuses on the scientific innovation and technology in the detection and mining of minerals in Western Australia.
She is currently in Taiwan sharing her research knowledge with her Techno Art students who are already producing incredible work and successfully engaging in professional artistic activities. The Techno Arts students participated in the Yuanshan Lantern Festival 2016, where two groups of students had gained exceptional prizes for their work and also exhibited with Professor Eleanor in their Breaking Windows Theory Exhibition at Aglow Art Space Gallery, Tainan. Professor Eleanor welcomed this opportunity to work at NCKU as she has been developing projects with Taiwan over a long period of time, such as the Australian-Taiwan International New Media Festival 2007 and later through a prestigious Visiting Taiwan Scholar Award from the Taiwan Ministry of Education via the Taipei Economic Office in Australia. She believes the Techno Art Program is a futurist development for NCKU and a natural progression of the University’s excellence in design, technology and liberal arts.
Professor Eleanor had previously worked with CSIRO, which hosted her research for her multimedia installation project ‘StellrScope’. The title itself has meaning to it where ‘Stella’ represents the perspective of large scale information and complexity of data, and ‘scope’ to narrow it down to one focus point. Her aim in the ‘StellrScope’ was to capture the process and complexity of its focal point, to then make it aesthetically simple, so that she could construct beauty. She described it to be “like magic to draw people in”, She wishes to entice people with her art, to become interested and explore it and to ask one simple question: ‘What is it?’ For Professor Gates-Stuart this simple question leads to a deeper level of engagement and inquiry to the meaning to communicating science in her artwork and that of her research promoting discovery and innovation in science. Her installation at Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre in Australia included an interactive projection of a wheat field ‘Spotlight on Wheat’, images of data, micro images and insects, 3D holograms, Stellrlume Domes, ‘Slices of Man’ and ‘Stellrlumarca’. The Stellrlume Domes are an interactive, using infra-red sensors that when a body part is moved above the dome, another image is seen under the shadow of the body part. Working with CSIRO to produce the software, she effectively uses technology and visual images to interact with the audience, not only is it considered as an innovative artwork but also helps people become engaged with science and experience new ideas.
Professor Gates-Stuart’s major Science Art Commission ‘StellrScope’ to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra was supported by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government and the Australian Government. Her residency was hosted with the CSIRO as the Science Art Fellow and she was awarded the Canberra Critic’s Circle Award. Professor Gates-Stuart’s current project, ‘Under the Surface’ featuring mining and minerals is currently on exhibition at Scitech, that features amazing array of visual material from innovative technology, mining heritage and scientific visualisation data.
Professor Gates Stuart believes that the relationship between Taiwan and Australia could be described as ‘with colour’. This represents the uniting of two cultures with colours; she suggests the mixture of these colours on a palette could create something beautiful. “Colour holds so much significance in our lives as we encounter various emotions to what we see and experience, placed with our memories. The richness and exuberant colours of our countries is indeed a palette of culture and knowledge”. She expresses the idea of the Australian-Taiwan relationship through art, as it is a way for people to gather, to add experiences and views it quite visually as a spectrum of colour.
More information about Professor Gates-Stuart