The Nano Lens – Art, Science, Nature

The Nano Lens – Art, Science, Nature

Author: Alice Motion – University of Sydney, Australia


  • Chiara Neto – University of Sydney, Australia
  • Chiara O’Reilly – University of Sydney, Australia

The Nano Lens project explores what it means to look and aims to expand visual experience. Presented in Schools and at Public Outreach events at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, the project challenges us to see things in nature anew and develop a deeper understand of the links between art and science. Both art and science celebrate and look out for the details in the world around us – a still life painting demands close study from both the artist and the viewer and science has long studied the details of nature.

This project seeks to question what it means to look? What does it mean to continue the close study of the detail in the world around us beyond what is visible to the eye or under a traditional microscope? What do techniques of microscopy like scanning electron microscope (SEM) uncover? What new structures and surfaces can be revealed in looking all the way down to the nano scale – a scale difficult to imagine of ‘one billionth of a metre’ that is full of beauty and extraordinary potential.

The Nano lens was born out of a new collaboration between nanoscience and the humanities. It is designed to help show the fascinating worlds of nanoscience and art to a wider public – moving beyond popular discussions of nanoscience which have focused on debates over the safety of nanoparticles in sunscreen or nano robots in science fiction and open up a new appreciation for art and science.

This presentation will explore the ways that art has helped members of the public to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the nanoworld and how, in turn the nanoworld has helped to increase their understanding and appreciation of art.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual presentation
Theme: Transformation