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The Impossible Garden: Exploring the edges of perception

Launch of the Impossible Garden, 12.07.18

The Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady and artist, Luke Jerram, with BVI team and Botanic Garden curator, Nick Wray

1 of 12 exhibits, impossible garden, luke jerram

'Threshold', one of the Impossible Garden exhibits

19 July 2018

The Impossible Garden is a unique set of experimental sculptures by artist Luke Jerram, inspired by visual phenomena. The 12 exhibits were created after a nine-month residency at the Bristol Eye Hospital, where Luke deepened his knowledge of visual perception, whilst learning about BVI's research in this area

On Thursday 12th July, the Impossible Garden launched at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, with special invited guests welcomed by Nick Wray (Botanic Garden curator), Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady, Professor Iain Gilchrist (BVI management team) and artist Luke Jerram

Led by Bristol Vision Institute, this project is the culmination of an exciting collaboration between BVI, Luke Jerram, the Bristol Eye Hospital and the University's Botanic Garden. The Impossible Garden uses sculptural installations to spark debate about how we see, and how visual impairments can affect our perception of the world around us. The full press release can be read here

Guests enjoyed a guided tour of the garden, discovering the 12 art exhibits, one of which is not visible to those who are red/green colour-blind, which includes Luke Jerram himself. A special pair of glasses sit alongside the 'Is this red' exhibit which visitors enjoyed trying on. They enhance colour, as they are designed to help counter the affects of red/green colour blindness and proved a real talking point. Impossible Garden brochure (PDF, 780kB)

The Impossible Garden brings art and science together and by placing these very 'unnatural' exhibits in the stunning surrounds of the Botanic Garden. To aid understanding of the science behind the exhibits, six posters showing the breadth and depth of BVI's research can be found next to the Chandos concession at the Botanic Garden. BVI research posters (PDF, 2,734kB).

The exhibition is open to the public until 25th November and we encourage all staff, students, families and friends to visit. Entrance is free to University of Bristol staff, ALL students and Friends of the Botanic Garden

Special thanks must go to the Leverhulme Trust, various departments across the university who made this possible, the Bristol Eye Hospital, the staff of the Botanic Garden, BVI researchers and of course Luke Jerram. We are exceedingly grateful for all the time he and his team have given us, producing this exciting exhibition, and allowing us to share his artwork and vision with you.  



Further information

Find out more about Luke Jerram's residency at the Bristol Eye Hospital and his Museum of the Moon at the Wills Memorial Building, last year.

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