Otago Polytechnic
Zealandia topography



An Invitation to Artists and Scientists


Scientists and artists (post-graduate alumni and staff of the Dunedin School of Art)
are invited to take part in the latest Art and Science Project: Art + Earth.

The eighth Art and Science project takes “earth science” as its focus. According to The Oxford Companion to the Earth, the earth sciences encompass fields of enquiry from “volcanoes to flood plains, diamonds to meteors, deserts to deep seas.” [i] The disciplines involved include geology, climatology, mineralogy, and oceanography and opportunities extend from mapping the features of the third rock from the sun to journeys to the centre of the earth. Artists and scientists alike have always used drawing and model making as tools to understand how “nature” works. Field records are fascinating to artists who share common ground in the arts of discovery through observing, recording and representing what goes on beneath our feet, above us and around us. .

The earth sciences explore the formation of rocks, as they are layered across geologic time, under restless pressures, ruptures and constant change. They engage with the macro and the micro, with chaos and order. And then there is the place of the human. How has our planet made us? How have the connections between earth systems affected evolution throughout deep time, and changed the course of histories and cultures? Our attempts to visualise the world around us shape our culture. Our modes of understanding shape our common future.

Following in the footsteps of successful Art and Science Projects over the previous seven years, artists will work with scientists from the University of Otago and beyond, individually or in small groups, to develop artworks which respond to the theme of “earth science” interpreted in a broad context.

Works will be selected for an exhibition to be held in the first week of July 2020 at the Otago Museum. The exhibition will coincide with the New Zealand International Science Festival.

The project will be administered by the Art+Science team including Pam McKinlay from the Dunedin School of Art, Dr Jenny Rock, Science Communication and Dr Bryce Peebles, Marine Science from the University of Otago.


Expressions of interest:

Please register your interest as soon as possible with Jenny Rock jenny.rock@otago.ac.nz, Bryce Peebles bryce.peebles@gmail.com  and Pam McKinlay pam.mckinlay@op.ac.nz.

As in other years the project will commence with an introductory evening of presentations in November of this year (date and venue TBC) followed by monthly meetings February to May 2020. This year will we will have a longer first meeting to cover the presentations of both artists and scientists, in the “speed-dating” phase of the project.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask Pam McKinlay, pam.mckinlay@op.ac.nz or  Jenny Rock jrockmail@gmail.com.


[i] Hancock and Skinner, 2003, The Oxford Companion to the Earth


Pam McKinlay is an artist with a background in applied science and history of art. As an artist she works predominantly in sculpture, weaving and ceramics. She works in collaboration with other artists locally and nationally in community outreach and education projects around the theme of climate change, sustainability and biodiversity. Currently she works at the Dunedin School of Art.
Pam McKinlay, Dunedin School of Art

Jenny Rock has backgrounds in science and art. She has spent > 20 years as a scientific researcher (particularly in marine biology) and is an intaglio and relief printmaker, as well as occasional poet. Currently she is a Sr Lecturer in Science Communication (University of Otago) focusing on aesthetics, participatory practice, sensory cognition, and ArtScience.Jenny Rock, Otago University

Bryce Peebles earned his PhD in Marine Science in 2017. He studies biomineralisation and the taphonomy of molluscs. He is a casual research assistant in the Marine Science and Zoology departments at the University of Otago. He enjoys cooking and is an avid historical and classical fencer.
Bryce Peebles, Otago University