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Loughborough University project supports visionary research-based artwork

Loughborough University’s Creative Outreach Resource Efficiency (CORE) project has provided the impetus for the development of a brand new research-based artwork, due to go on display this weekend.

London-based artists BurtonNitta have been working with scientists from five leading universities to create the art piece, to be exhibited at the V&A Museum on 26-27 September.

The artwork, entitled Instruments of the Afterlife, depicts a future vision where energy needs and planetary consumption are balanced creating self-sustaining systems with little environmental impact.

It has been created in response to research carried out by the Cleaning Land for Wealth project (CL4W), which is funded alongside CORE, as part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Resource Efficiency portfolio.

The CL4W project explores ways contaminated land can be brought back to life using bacteria and nano-particles from plants to collect toxic matter such as metals and arsenic. The idea is to cleanse land which has been damaged through centuries of misuse, making decontamination financially viable and, providing manufacturing industries with new materials without the need for mining or smelting.

Professor Jacqui Glass, Leader of the CORE project, comments: “I am delighted to see this extraordinary collaboration between leading scientists and ground-breaking artists. I am particularly pleased in the transformative way in which a challenging research problem has been interpreted and communicated for a wide audience.”

Principal Investigator of the CL4W project, Dr Kerry Kirwan, said: “The project came about when the CL4W team were introduced to BurtonNitta at a special public engagement event held at Loughborough Design School in 2014, as part of the CORE project activities.

“We have chosen to shine a light on our research through the lens of artists BurtonNitta with help from Professor Glass and the CORE team."

Dr Kirwan’s team and BurtonNitta were among ten special exhibits in at a mini science fair attended by children from Robert Bakewell School in Loughborough in 2014.

Instruments of the Afterlife will be on display in room 21a of the V&A. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5.45pm to and entry is free.