A team from the University of Sussex went to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff to celebrate Super Science Saturday in October 2019. We had an amazing time; nearly 300 people came to participate. We looked at image-making technologies, from wood engraving and photography to digital media. Participants worked with archival images from scientific publications, producing new works of digital and collage art. Illustrated above is a digital collage made by Willow Pugh, in collaboration with another participant. They re-purposed a nineteenth-century wood engraving from John G Wood’s Illustrated Natural History (1861-3). Another visitor used an image of a great white shark from the same publication, to produce a new piece highlighting environmental concerns with the use of plastics:

The archival material used as the starting point for this work came from the British Museum’s Dalziel Archive and from University of Sussex special collections at The Keep, Brighton. Scientific wood engravings made in the nineteenth century by the Dalziel Brothers were diverse in subject matter. They were usually aimed at a popular audience, illustrating books and magazines about for general readers. However, they also appeared in specialist science research publications. The illustrations below this paragraph include (left to right): an illustration for an unidentified book on odontology (the study of teeth); an illustration designed by the scientist Joseph Clover, illustrating his article about anaesthesia, ‘On the Administration of Nitrous Oxide’, in The British Medical Journal (1868); a wood engraving of a parasite, and an archival page of calf foetuses, both produced for a book for farmers by Francis Cater entitled Every Man his own Cattle Doctor (1870).

There were many science-inspired works produced on the day, by participants of all ages. Click on an image to open the gallery.