Imperial College London

Meet Imperial’s new artist in residence

by

Dan the poet on stage

Poet and performer Dan Simpson will collaborate with Imperial researchers to create engaging pieces of word-based art inspired by their work.

The Societal Engagement team have appointed Dan Simpson as a poet in residence at Imperial College London. Dan will work with researchers across the College and create innovative ways to engage the public with their work through the art of poetry.

This is going to be an incredibly innovative project, as we take our activities online during lockdown to engage the public in the fascinating work at Imperial. Dan Simpson Poet

Dan Simpson is a writer, performer, producer and educator who creates work that is entertaining, smart, and funny. He has previously been a poet in residence at Waterloo Station and the National Trust and has performed globally, including at Imperial as a roaming poet at an Imperial Lates event.

During his residency, Dan will bring together the arts, the sciences and public perspectives to create work with Imperial researchers and the public. This exchange of ideas aims to allow researchers and the public to understand each other's lived experiences, thoughts about research and what matters to them in a future shaped by COVID-19.

Dan Simpson as a roaming poet at a recent Imperial Lates eventOn his residency Dan says, "I am thrilled to be in residence at Imperial College London, working to bring their world-leading research to the public through poetry, spoken word, and literature. I can't wait to collaborate with Imperial's scientists to create exciting new art. This is going to be an incredibly innovative project, as we take our activities online during lockdown to engage the public in the fascinating work at Imperial."

Back to nature

For his first project, Dan will be working with Dr. Ans Vercammen on a publicly crowdsourced poem about our connection with nature. Using this as inspiration, Dan and Ans will co-create a piece of art which combines the crowdsourced words, Ans’ research and personal interests, and Dan’s artistic perspective

Anyone can be part of this project by sending Dan words that relate to their experiences with the natural world – no writing experience needed! Prompts will be shared on social media using the hashtag #VerseResearch.

Why art and science?

An art-science collaboration can yield obvious benefits to the artist: a piece of art inspired by science. But there can be profound benefits to science as well. Applying an artistic lens to research can help scientists see their work differently, likewise the artist is often exposed to new perspectives that may influence their practice when working with scientists.

The Societal Engagement team believe art not only enriches science but opens it up to new audiences who may not consider themselves as “science-y”. Similarly, art-science projects can democratise art by yielding pieces that feel accessible to those who don’t see themselves as “arty”.

Previous art-science collaborations at Imperial include plays about surgery and antimicrobial resistance, visual art representing the Sun’s solar energy and stand-up comedy with researchers at our White City campus. Additionally, the Great Exhibition Road Festival, of which Imperial is a founding partner, is a celebration of art and science that galvanises on the cohabitation of the world-leading art and science institutes on Exhibition Road.

Reporter

Ellie Cawthera

Ellie Cawthera
Office of the Provost

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