Inspiration from an eye test

eye_testHere is a photograph seen on the wall of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.   There is an idea here that I might try.   Show a water test in the middle and then add profiles of a water user on the left and a scientist on the right.   Will have to try out to see what it will loook like.

Science and Water

‘India’s future? Men, Machines, but no water’, a photograph by Indian science journalist Pallava Bagla.

Water is a vital but scarce resource.  Yet many people throughout the world do not have access to clean drinking water.

The photograph above communicates the idea that all the development of science and technology may fail to deliver on basic needs of people.   The image is “posed” like a still life yet it instantly communicates the issue.

What happens when you mix fashion, design, science and water?

Here is a blog, relevant to science and water and design – given that photography always has an aspect of “design”.   Orignially posted on the Practical Action blog

David J. Grimshaw
October 8th, 2008

The glib answer is disappearing dresses.   But much more happened in Belfast over the past couple of days.   Wonderland-Belfast opened yesterday at the Ormeau Gallery.   This is an extraordinary exhibition resulting from a partnership of talents from the world of fashion and science.   The dresses are made from dissolving textiles and as they are lowered into water they disappear.   The exhibition questions the environmental sustainability of our current fashion industry and what happens to used clothing.    Dissolving bottles, are a further idea put into practice as an exploration of intelligent packaging.   Once finished with, the bottles dissolve under hot water to form a gel in which seeds can be grown.   The concept could revolutionise the packaging industry and aims to highlight issues surrounding waste plastic.

Today the group were joined by Sarah Brown from UCL and David Grimshaw from Practical Action.  The diverse group brainstormed a range of ideas around the theme of “Water Futures”.   Watch this space!

Can photography bridge the gap between science and community?

Water is a key basic need for everyone and in the UK most people take it for granted in both quality and availability.   People living in the Terai area of Nepal are not so fortunate.  For many of these people the quality of water is affected by arsenic that leads to long term health problems.   Detecting the presence of arsenic in drinking water in a reliable, repeatable, and low cost way is a major challenge.   As a member of the team trying to develop a solution that local people will use there is a need to understand the local context and capture it in such a way that the scientists can develop an appropriate technology.

The background is covered well in the following article posted on the Wellcome Trust web site (the funder of the project).

The biggest poisoning in history | Wellcome Trust.

What has this got to do with photography?   Perhaps an image may be used to help communicate between science and the community.   The challenge is to produce a set of images that will bridge the the gap between science and users.

 

Inspiration

Ideas come from many sources.   Images are essentially a mix of ideas and asthetics that communicate (often through ambiguity, juxtaposition or metaphor).

Sources:

Helen Sear – Inside the View 2004 – 2008

  • Montage of images could be used to frame what is “inside the head” of (say) the scientist or the user.

When Art and Science Collide – Picturing Science February 2011.

  •  An example of an image that questions the use of drugs by showing dust filled pills.

Brian Griffin – The Water People

  • An interesting use of space between to illustrate a gap.   This idea might be adapted to show scientists meeting local people and a mix of background landcapes.   Here the wall is a useful sign – what is over the wall (different world of science).