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Engaging Images Competition Blog

16/12/2019   Tom

This year during the Norwich Science Festival our new PhD PIPS intern found himself on both sides of the curtain as both a winner and part of the team helping to set up the exhibition of the 2019 NRP Engaging Images Competition. Here Tom McLean writes about the competition and his experiences; 

 

The Norwich Research Park (NRP) Engaging Images competition was set up to find and showcase the best scientific images from researches here in Norwich. I study bacteria and their growth patterns and as such I have to take hundreds of photos a week. Sometimes the bacterial colonies can look pretty stunning and so when the call came out for images, I sent a few in as entries. A few weeks before I had the joy of starting my internship with the SAW Trust I found out that one of my images was a winner!

NRP 286 HiRes NRP 286 Sky at night

My winning image - Sky at night or Streptomyces coelicolor

The eleven winning entries spanned everything from microscopy images of fungi to a scientist training program in Africa and came from every part of the NRP including two winning entries from the N&N hospital. These images would be printed and displayed in the centre of the Forum in Norwich during the Science Festival and there would be a “Meet the scientists” event held one evening for the public to come and hear short talks about our images and the science behind them. There was also a follow-on competition for the public to create a piece of art or poetry based on the winning images.

 

It was at this point that I joined SAW and one of my first tasks was to help set up the event I had been invited to talk at. It all went swimmingly, and we had a full house of listeners from the public with loads of families and children which was great to see. In the following weeks we received amazing pieces of art and poetry from the public and our fantastic panel of judges had a really tough time picking out the winners. The winning pieces were then displayed at the Sainsbury’s Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) and I can now add art curator to my CV having designed the exhibition layout which is a skill I never saw myself gaining! The final exhibition was opened with a launch event bringing together the winning artists, poets, scientists and distinguished guests from the NRP to celebrate the event in its entirety before being displayed to the public.

As for the winning images, they can be found alongside all the other amazing science images on the NRP image library freely available at http://images.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/.