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17 Jun 2024

Artist In Residence: Andy Charalambous

Andy Charalambous is the HEP group's Artist in Residence and joins Katie Paterson in the department who has the same role for the Astrophysics Group last year.

Andy is a London based artist who works in digital video, sculpture, installation and intervention. His work is principally conceptual and often process driven. Much of his practice is inspired by science. He takes a single idea or scientific concept to produce work that communicates by creating an intuitive emotional response, but triggers a curiosity to consider deeper meaning and understanding of the science. His video "Carbon" records him creating a wooden effigy of himself, which he sets on fire. This burns until only the ash remains. A later work is the installation "Neutrino". This examines the size and randomness of the neutrino.

"I spent many years working in a scientific research environment, where there is considerable formality and need for precision in the communication of facts and ideas. During this time I realised that communicating in such a controlled and extensively detailed way was very exclusive. Many people are turned off by the volume and depth of information. Art, in contrast, has the ability to communicate instinctively, much more efficiently, and to a broader audience."

Andy worked for the Physics and Astronomy department for many years running the engineering design office, which developed instrumentation for the HEP and Astrophysics groups. Since leaving UCL employment in 2005 he has been working as an artist and has been keen to work in ways that bring together art and science. In 2005 he organised an international project where 17 artists spent a week at CERN and then produced work that was exhibited in London and Geneva as part of the CERN 50th anniversary celebrations. In 2009, as part of the International Year of Astronomy, he introduced three established artists to concepts in astronomy and their work was exhibited in London. He also arranged at UCL an evening panel discussion on the benefits of art to science.

A recent article on Andy's work was featured by the APS : here