Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
SCIENCE AND ART – THE RIGHT APPROACH TO CREATING AND
UNDERSTANDING ART WORKS BASED ON SCIENCE
Some time back my mind debated whether I should give importance to visual appeal too in my art work while creating it. These thoughts never crossed my mind when I started my work in the art field. But
they caused ripples in my head when some of my friends – although the number of
these friends is small – suggested to me to give importance to colour, depth,
design and composition too in my work. “Flatness in art works doesn’t attract
people” is their theory.
“Rule of odds”, “Rule of thirds”, “Rule of this”, “Rule of that” – follow them if you want your work to look attractive and appealing. “Follow rules and good techniques (?!) if you want to beat competition” is the
gist of what I read in articles written about art these days. Only when I
started using internet to connect with the art world I realized the importance
being given to Visual Treats – in what way the net is being used to teach
lessons on how to create eye candies, how people are thinking only from
commercial point of view ignoring the real satisfaction an artist gets when he creates works in his natural way and style. I am annoyed with this preoccupation with technique. The real issues in
painting are not only how you handle the medium, surface and hand movements,
but also what kind of pictures you paint and the themes you use. The method
must be in synchrony with the conception. Without this approach in creating works,
the theme based art looks like a beautiful girl whose gaudy makeup spoiled her
I hardly came across any material on how to treat themes in the art world till now. Do people give importance only to visual appearance of an art work in this field? Okay, I agree visual arts flourish when they
interact with the eyes and sight in an appealing way.
But we don’t work like that in the field of science. Science is based on facts and proof. Therefore, the truth strikes your mind and appeals to you. You need not create a visually appealing picture to make people accept
it. There is no other go but to accept scientific facts sometime or the other.
That is the charm of truth and facts on which science is based. It appeals to
the mind – not to the superficial eyes or sight like the visual treats of the
art. In the end it is the brain that has to interpret art whether it is
superficially beautiful or whether it can touch your heart and soul too.
Therefore, science-theme based art is important in a different way.
As I am not a trained artist, when I started my work, I hardly had any knowledge on how to create beautiful (to the eye) art works. I had to put in lots of effort and hard work to represent themes in an artistic
way. I never gave importance to visual appeal. All that I thought at that time
was how science could be presented in the form of art and how themes based on
science could be brought before the world in simple forms so that everybody
could understand them. Some of the best artists in the world keep their
paintings simple. They convey one idea at a time. Too many ideas in one art
work complicate things. I just did my works as I saw them in my mind. I never
used reference photos or models. So realism or photo-realism never came into
the picture then.
Now, when people from the art world see my work, some of them approach it only from the point of view of visual appearance like any other art work and not as a separate entity or branch. There is hardly any work
related to science – especially theme based ones - in the field of art. So
these people don’t even know how to approach and understand works from science.
Work based on science themes is different from other art themes. Communicating the subject is the main aim of creating science based art. Taking themes
and thoughts originated in my mind while working in a science lab and with the
mind of a person from the scientific field, I represent my views in the way I
feel fit to represent. And I expect people to see them in the way they should
There is depth in my thought, not in my pictures. There is variation of colour in my themes, not in my work. I want my work to appeal to the mind – not to the eye! Several people told me that is what happens when
they see my work and read the descriptions I give. And – I feel – these friends
of mine approach my work in the right way. They say my work is different from other works they see. Yes, it is completely different!
Good art has nothing to do with looking pretty. It is not about beauty in the normal sense of the word. It is meant to provoke thought and to make a particular statement. It is about the message – what the artist
is trying to communicate or convey. It should successfully communicate an idea.
If the artist concentrates on how to apply the perfect technical skills, it is
like following a recipe given in a magazine. It is not “creating” works.
In my view people from the field of art should understand that science themes cannot be presented in the way nature, portraits or abstracts are presented. Depth in thought relating to science themes is
different from depth in pictures of nature. Colour in science is appreciated
only to make things clearer and not to attract people as in other forms of paintings. Importance here is given to theme,
fact, truth and science and not to other things that are main issues from
artistic point of view. I will take things other than these into consideration only up to the extent they
are useful to my work – nothing more and nothing less.
There are several works all around us that make people say “wow”. You see them and move on to another attractive piece that catches your eye again because there are thousands and thousands of them in the art world. And work related to “Art from Science”? Very little! And in order to make my
work appeal to the mind I will have to take away the “wow factor of the visual
appeal” because it distracts some viewers. I want the world to see my work and
remember it in a different way. What might be attractive to others might not be attractive to me. Different
works appeal to different viewers’ personal tastes. It is said that beauty is
in the eye of beholder. So why should I follow others’ rules? I want to do work
in my way and expect people to respect my artistic freedom. At the same time I
am aware of the fact that it takes a long time for people to accept something
A few days back I tried to create a visual treat by mixing a picture of nature with my science theme. The moment you see the picture, the nature scene strikes you more than the subject of science. Of course you will
be able to concentrate on the theme of science later – but only after sometime
– which is not very good for my kind of work. Although it is a very attractive
piece, it didn’t give me much satisfaction. Then I thought, there is no way I
can continue with this type of work if I wan t to do pieces with science stories
as these works distract people from the main theme they need to concentrate on
and the message they carry. People in the field of science say – “Even if
nobody supports you, carry on with your work if you firmly believe what you are
doing is right”. So, sorry art world, I don’t want to change my way of doing things, I don’ want to get influenced by others and I definitely don’t want to lose my thoughts and plots while creating
attractive pieces. “Themes and only themes based on Science” will be given
importance and nothing else in my work on science. Like it or hate it, the
world cannot ignore the significance of my work. Because it is from another
field & created to stand out as work that brings harmony between various
fields, to appeal to the mind which will have a longer lasting effect.
“If you don’t want to create attractive pieces, why do you choose these science themes?” one person asked me. The answer is simple. Because I am intertwined with science culture and as I eat science, sleep science,
breathe science, live science, naturally I “paint science” too! Moreover, I
want science to be represented in the art world!
So world, when you open my site, forget about both your as well as my artistic talents and come and see my work with the right approach – with the mind’s eye – just the way science art themes should be treated. Then
only you will be able to see the beauty of my work.
Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa
Copyright © 2010
September 24th, 2010
Art, Science, approach, create, understand, theme, artwork, science-art, visual-treats, beauty, techniques, right, DrKrishnaKumariChalla