Inside Science is a new free exhibition of artwork inspired by a series of discussions about science led by St George's researchers at HM Prison Wandsworth.
The exhibition of artwork by prisoners, inspired by scientific issues and discoveries, is one of St George's public engagement projects, aiming to encourage more people to explore and talk about science, particularly in under-served communities.
Since October 2014, Professor Julian Ma, Director of the Institute for Infection and Immunity, one of the three main research institutes at St George's, has visited HMP Wandsworth every month. Wandsworth is the largest prison in the UK.
On these monthly visits, Professor Ma meets a group of prisoners to spend 90 minutes discussing the latest issues in science. These sessions are held in conjunction with an art class, organised by the education team at the prison.
The group spend time reflecting on the topics discussed and responding artistically. So far, discussions have spanned a wide range of topics, including the Ebola outbreak, DNA testing, cancer, wildlife, the Big Bang theory, the Rosetta space mission, artificial intelligence and genetics.
The prisoners are often familiar with and sometimes very knowledgeable about the subjects, which are deliberately chosen because they are topical and the men may have seen recent reports in the press or on television. Professor Ma chose to work with an ongoing art class to reduce the formality of each session, allowing the men to continue to draw or paint throughout if they want to.
A selection of artworks produced by this 'conversation between art and science' will be on display at St George's from 22 November to 18 December 2016.
To see the exhibition, visit Hunter Wing Level 1 at St George's, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE.