It was grey and gloomy in Bethnal Green this Saturday but inside Oxford House, Lon-art and members of the local community had come together to have fun, learn new skills and create new colours. The project, “Art-Lab Experiment”, encouraged participants to think about how science, history and art have come together and influenced one another by carrying out their own artistic experiments.

The event, funded by Oxford House, was well attended by families, individuals of different ages and groups of friends from Bethnal Green and beyond. In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere members of the community carried out their own artistic experiments under the guidance of Maria Gonzalez (art educator) and Cristina Cuevas (photographer).

At the heart of Art-Lab Experiment was the notion of creativity. Participants brought together three distinct disciplines – art, history and science – and looked at how, when combined, they can inspire our creativity.

Beginning with science, Maria and Cristina demonstrated how pigments can be made from finely chopped fruit and vegetables. By mixing beetroot, lemon zest or spinach with a dash of hot water and straining into a bowl with icing sugar, exciting new colours were invented by all of those taking part. The second stage was history: participants had to choose one of Cristina’s striking photographs which explore the evolution of London, through its changing landscape and culture, and the local life in Bethnal Green. Finally all of these elements were combined with the artistic flare of participants. By applying their home-made pigments to Cristina’s photos and deciding how they would like to repaint their city, these budding “science artists” made fantastic new pieces of art.

The results of Art-Lab Experiment, like any good piece of science, art or local history, are currently on display to the public at Oxford House – go and see them before they’re gone!

A big thank you goes out to Maria and Cristina for organising the art workshop, Oxford House for their support and hosting and of course all the science-artists who brought the event to life. Take a look around Lon-art’s website to find out more about upcoming art education events and to find out how you can participate in their work.


By Len Williams


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