Sarah Craske is a multi-award winning British artist, without category, now working at the intersection of Art, Science and Technology.
She is currently developing a manifesto which she uses to govern her practice and SPACER, a transdisciplinary art studio that explores the purpose and value of sustainable creative practice through researching, experimenting, making and learning.
Her work includes research, writing, installation, film, performance, sculpture and synthetic biology. Her media includes archival material, bacteria, fungi, lichens, DNA, resins, peptides and collected specimens. She chooses to exhibit in and collaborate with interdisciplinary buildings, sites and organisations, purposefully prioritising their rich contexts over white cube galleries. Libraries, museums, laboratories and other sites of knowledge full of histories, narratives and context become her materials.
She explores the intersection of art with science and technology and how the concept of practice transforms through transdisciplinary working. She identifies that successful transdisciplinary practice is governed and limited by the nature of the landscape it resides in and evaluates this landscape through the following: Environment, Politics, Institutions and Money. She asserts that transdisciplinary practice itself is a negotiated space made up of the following areas: Ethics, Language, Space, People, Technologies, Materials and Methods.
In collaboration with Charlotte Sleigh, she is developing her own transdiscipline Biological Hermeneutics, which was speculatively presented through a site specific installation at Chethams’ Library, Manchester, UK (the oldest public library in the English-speaking world).
Recent awards include; the NOVA award (1300 artist applicants) on graduation from Central St Martins (first class MA Art & Science) which ‘recognise the risk takers and spot creative stars of the future’; an AHRC Science in Culture Innovation Award in recognition of her “innovative contribution to collaborative inter-relationships between the sciences, arts & humanities”; a Biofaction International artist-in-residency in Switzerland (applications from 29 countries).
Recent exhibitions include Biological Hermeneutics (see above), within which she presented a body of work including The Metamorphoses Chapter for which she took a 1735 copy of Ovid’s book, and captured and revealed the bacteria it held from centuries of human touch using cutting edge scientific processes. For THERIAK, she reflected on patterns of human behaviour towards disease across time. Works included a time-lapse film of cholera being fought by her own synthetic peptides and copper engravings of contemporary molecules using Renaissance printing techniques. THERIAK was installed across the Basel Pharmacy Museum, Switzerland.
Her work appears in several books including Creating Art and Science Collaboration; Bringing value to organisations (Schnugg, Claudia), published by Palgrave Macmillan; The Art of Antibiotics (Schmidt, Markus), published by Biofaction; Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils (Farrier, David), published by 4th Estate.
She is currently director of SPACER, where (in collaboration with artists Stephen Melton and Lorna Dallas-Conte) over the last 15 years, she has been developing a unique interdisciplinary organisational model that is now manifesting itself as a purpose built space that encourages true transdisciplinarity.
She is an Honorary Research Fellow at Centre for the History of the Sciences at the University of Kent, through which she has contributed to numerous interdisciplinary journals. She is a visiting lecturer at University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins (MA Art and Science) and co-curator of the Science and Arts Section of the British Science Festival.
She lives and works between London, Canterbury & Ramsgate (UK).
Director | SPACER
Honorary Research Fellow | School of History | University of Kent
Co-Recorder | Science and the Arts Section | British Science Association
Visiting Lecturer | MA Art & Science | UAL Central Saint Martins
MA (Art & Science) | Central Saint Martins, UAL | 2016 | Distinction
BA (Fine Art) | Kent Institute of Art and Design | 2003 | First Class
Exhibition| THERIAK – The Past In The Present | The Pharmacy Museum, University of Basel | Switzerland
Public Event | Museums Nacht Basel – THERIAK. VERGANGENES GEGENWÄRTIG | The Pharmacy Museum, University of Basel | Switzerland
Public Talk | THERIAK – The Impact of Interdisciplinarity on a Museum | The Pharmacy Museum, University of Basel | Switzerland
Conference Presentation | Remixing Theriak; Experiments with an ancient cure-all remedy (in collaboration with Martin Kluge, Dr. Sabine Fehlmann, Philipp Koch) | Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel | Switzerland
Colloquium Presentation | THERIAK – The Past In The Present | Beyond Resistance; Reimagining the Military Metaphor | University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Public Talk | THERIAK – The Past In The Present | SPACER | Ramsgate | UK
Publication | Schnugg, C. . Creating Art and Science Collaboration; Bringing value to organisations . Palgrave Macmillan.
Writing | Craske, S., Park, S. and Sleigh, C.. Lowering the tone in art and science collaboration: An analysis from science and technology studies. Journal of Science & Popular Culture; Volume 2 Number 1. Available at: https:// doi: 10.1386/jspc.2.1.37_1
Award | Theriaca – Funding awarded to support the self-initiated residency investigating whether historical knowledge can indicate where novel antimicrobials could yet be discovered using contemporary scientific methods, in the context of Lemnian Earth (Terra Sigillata) and Theriaca. | Centre for the History of the Sciences Fund, School of History | University of Kent | UK
Conference Presentation| SPACER – Building Interdisciplinarity | Creative Lenses Final Conference: Culture and Business Models in Challenging Times | Cable Factory | Helsinki | Finland
Conference Presentation | Lowering the tone in art and science collaboration: an analysis from science and technology studies | Interrogating the Art-Science Relationship | Oxford University Depart of History of Art and Visual Culture | Oxford, UK
Residency | Self-Initiated residency studying the cultural context of Lemnian Earth and its relationship to the question of whether historical knowledge can indicate where novel antimicrobials could yet be discovered using contemporary scientific methods, within an interdisciplinary team. | Lemnos | Greece
University of Kent | School of History | Centre for the History of the Sciences (UK)
Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK)
Mullen Lowe (UK)
Chethams’ Library (UK)
Basel Pharmacy Museum (CH)