Leeds University Library

Night Light 2013: Invisible Structures

Published 04 October 2013

Coloured image of x-ray diffraction/by Lawrence Molloy/© The Artist

This drop-in, family-friendly event explores - through both art and science - objects that can only be seen using light. Includes a special commission by artist Lawrence Molloy.

Friday 4 Oct 2013 5-10pm

Free event, open to all

In collaboration with the University's Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Gallery celebrates the centenary year of Nobel prize-winning Leeds scientist William Bragg.

Claire Jones, Director of the Museum, will be demonstrating historic artefacts from the University's collections related to x-ray crystallography, (a process discovered by Leeds's Nobel Prize winner William Bragg) including an x-ray camera owned by his predecessor William Astbury whose own pioneering work with X-rays complimented that of Bragg. These objects will be installed in the Gallery main room for the duration of the evening. The Show-and-Tell is will provide access to rare treasures of the Museum and will put the art on display in the Parkinson Court into historical and technological context.

Outside the Gallery will present a highly unusual and original art display. The Gallery has invited artist Lawrence Molloy to create a series of 'invisible' sculptures. Molloy's pieces created specifically for this display will be practically imperceptible for the naked eye. The artist will use a highly original process to embed clear shapes within larger forms made of the same clear material. The shapes will only be visible by shining light through the objects to reveal the hidden inner shapes. Molloy will create a series of such 'invisible' sculptures, rigged up with lighting and suspended around the Parkinson Court South (with lights dimmed), outside the Gallery. This intriguing installation will highlight in a fun and creative way the beauty of Bragg's discovery, using x-ray crystallography to uncover structures not visible to the naked eye. The artist, with the support of two Gallery volunteers will be demonstrating how the sculptures work in the centre of the Court and inviting visitors to find the other sculptures dotted around the Court and to determine their hidden inner shapes. Viewing will be interactive: besides learning about the history of crystallography, visitors will be invited to explore the display with an activity sheet, and draw the 'hidden' shapes they find in the invisible sculptures.

This activity is suitable for all ages and abilities.