MEMBER NEWS: A stroke of genius: explore the links between science and art at Aberdeen Science Centre’s Art Lab

August 23, 2023
MEMBER NEWS: A stroke of genius: explore the links between science and art at Aberdeen Science Centre’s Art Lab

Throughout the coming months, as the leaves start to be brushed with Autumnal colours, Aberdeen Science Centre is going to be exploring the links between science and art.

‘Art Lab: where art and science collide’ is taking place from September 2 until the end of November. The themed activities and workshops will be running at the weekends and during the school holidays at the 5-star visitor attraction.

Aberdeen Science Centre will be delivering various activities and workshops which will consider how artists use science as inspiration for their work. This ranges from looking at sculptures which are based on scientific data, to photographs of indoor clouds.

Calli Buchanan, public programme coordinator at Aberdeen Science Centre explained: “Art and science are intrinsically linked. This is evident in famous works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, which makes use of the Golden Ratio, an algebraic property, in its design.

“At a simple level, the very materials used by many artists, including Leonardo Da Vinci, will have been created thanks to scientists. Whether it’s the paints used to create the artworks which hang in museums and galleries around the world, or techniques to capture digital images, science will have played a role in creating the necessary technology. But the link is much more than this.

“Creativity runs through both science and art, those involved in these fields need to be creative, to look at things differently. Both also require attention to detail and good powers of observation. The main difference comes in the way they present their results to the world, but even here there are commonalities as many choose visual devices to show their work.

“Over the next couple of months, we are looking forward to showing how art and science collide, we are keen to show that there is so much more to science than people wearing white lab coats and looking serious.”

According to Calli, there are clear instances where artists have been inspired by science or used science to help them present their vision to the world.

“One example of this is the indoor clouds which are created by renowned artist Berndnaut Smilde. His cloudy creations last mere seconds, just long enough for the image to be captured.

“Smilde has been perfecting his process for over 10 years. He uses scientific techniques to combine the right amounts of moisture and dust to create an indoor cloud which is then photographed.”

Visitors to Aberdeen Science Centre will have the opportunity to try different scientific techniques to create their own artwork.

Calli, added: “It is amazing to think that you can take materials which many people will have in their kitchen and use them to create artwork. During the Art Lab sessions we will be showing visitors how to use water, soap and paint to create bubble art.”

Local artists are also being invited to swap their studios for an Art Lab at Aberdeen Science Centre. They will be able to showcase their own work and participate in the workshops being offered throughout the period.

Calli added: “In another example of science and art colliding, we have also invited contemporary art students from NESCol to come into the centre. They are being given the opportunity to display their work and gain science communication skills at the same time.”

Younger visitors to Aberdeen Science Centre will also be exploring how science and art are connected.

Calli said: “Our story sessions will also focus on art and science. We will be telling the story of Edwin Binney, an American inventor who created the first dustless white chalk. This innovation wasn’t enough for Edwin. He wanted to take it further and add colour to the world and give children a chance to make colourful pictures. His curiosity and inquisitive nature led to the invention of the Crayola crayon. His story is told through ‘The Crayon Man’.”

“We are also hoping to inspire our younger visitors to create their own artwork after hearing how mistakes can become masterpieces through Barney Saltzberg’s story, Beautiful Oops.

“We will have experiment tables set up so visitors can create their own artwork, from spinning tops to art robots. We are excited to see what a visit to Aberdeen Science Centre will inspire our visitors to create!”

Based on Constitution Street near Aberdeen beach, ASC is home to almost 65 interactive exhibits, allowing people of all ages to discover topics including Space, Energy, Life Sciences, Engineering, and much more.

ASC also host events and workshops throughout the year. Visit What’s On At Aberdeen Science Centre | Events, Shows & More to find out about our Halloween themed event and to see what’s happening at ASC on World Anatomy day.

Open seven days a week, Aberdeen Science Centre offers exclusive venue hire as well as room hire for corporate, social and private events.

To book a visit to the centre, visit Please note the Art Lab theme will not be running on Saturday, 7 October.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise