Humans, Nature and Birds      

Science Art from Cave Walls to Computer Screens

Preface: What is Science Art?

Works of Science Art skillfully represent truths about the world and its creatures, suggesting important connections among objects and their surroundings and teaching us indirectly about nature itself.

We have been asked: “Why Science Art?”

The term neither describes the science of artistic creation nor the depiction of scientific events.

Instead, we see in Science Art a kind of cultural fusion in which painting or sculpture or photography say something about the natural world and how it works. Whether or not it is motivated by a scientific purpose, a work of Science Art can enrich the viewer with a sense that its subject is connected with, and could help explain, relationships.  

The artist sometimes uses scientific knowledge and findings; sometimes these emerge only because the artist’s execution is sensitive and faithful to these relationships.

To qualify as Science Art and to work well, the rendering should be accompanied by an explanatory caption that helps the viewer decode the underlying science.

© 2008 Darryl Wheye and Donald Kennedy

We have also been asked: “Why not ‘Environmental Art’ or ‘Wildlife Art’ or ‘Nature Art’?”

Works of art that represent truths about the natural world and its creatures certainly include these categories, although not all examples of Environmental Art, Wildlife Art, and Nature Art convey truths. Here, too, it is the explanatory caption that provides the viewer with access to truths that might otherwise be overlooked.