According to the curators: “Particle physics and illustration are about to collide in the culmination of the Jiggling Atoms project,” which is quite a big ask when you consider the disparity between those two disciplines; one a rigorous scientific practice concerned with understanding and manipulating the invisible, the other a visual discipline based on narratives and communicating ideas. But the Jiggling Atoms team have been careful in their selection of artists and made a sterling job of curating a truly coherent show.
The Jiggling Atoms concept is a simple one; how can physics be made accessible to everyone? And the answer, it seems, is by making bright, colourful, engaging (at times mind-blowingly complex) illustrations that convey a theory with visual clarity – and throw in a handful of exciting workshops for good measure.
As a scientific philistine myself I was mighty impressed by the quality of work on display walking round The Rag Factory. Those elementary concepts that I struggled to grasp as a child – the emptiness of an atom, the difference between particles and waves, how we can even be certain that the earth orbits the sun? – are all laid out and explained as plain as day. And while I can’t say I’ve been converted to a scientific lifestyle (some things are just best left to the imagination) it’s wonderful to see illustration being used in such an educational and accessible context instead of for the wilfull introspection with which it’s been recently associated. Nice work Jiggling Atoms!
Jiggling Atoms can be seen at The Rag Factory on Heneage Street until October 7.
- Camelot’s typefaces bring both the contemporary and historical to the table
- Scott Newett’s eerily quiet, ethereal portraits of Chinese utopia
- Jade Schulz’s atmospheric and imaginative editorial illustrations
- Emiliano Granado’s new zine puts a fresh spin on Tour de France fandom
- The big cover up: Mathieu Tremblin's translations of graffiti
- Artist Howard Fonda captures the vibrancy of summer for Ace & Tate
- Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is created
- Tommy Cash subverts the tropes of rap videos with a fleshy celebration of the human body (NSFW)
- Ian Davis’ picturesque paintings of bureaucratic dystopia
- Is it ever OK to work for free?
- Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity
- Peter Saville and Tate Design Studio create beer can artwork for Switch House pale ale