Culture, history and society

Finding space: women boldly go 

Finding Space is a film we commissioned to celebrate women physicists. It was shown on the large screen in our gallery at our London building earlier this year, and is also available below to view online.

Finding Space is a reflective audio-visual piece with bold portraits of scientists positioned alongside animated diagrams of their research.

The large close-up studies of women, at different stages of their physics careers, are presented on a black space-like background that perhaps also represents the space women create for themselves in science and technology.

The film by artists Liz Hingley and Edwin Mingard is accompanied by an immersive soundscape of recordings by Dr Annie Mahtani at the University of Birmingham School of Physics and Astronomy.

Pioneering and original

We asked artist Liz Hingley what interested her about women physicists and what she and collaborator Edwin Mingard hope the piece will achieve:

“The piece is designed to reveal the pioneering work women are doing in physics, what motivates them, their originality, and the diversity of women who are inspired to work in the field.

“It was made in the last few months with women working in physics at all different levels of their careers.

“Edwin Mingard and myself wanted to produce a piece that would hold a presence on the screen and have a consistency in quality to fit the large space. Such a huge screen deserves stunning visuals.

“We worked with the women to create diagrams, schematics to sit alongside their portraits and convey the energy and concepts of their work. The one minute video portraits are designed to convey something of the sitter’s character, to be meditative and to draw you in.

“We were introduced to the women in the film through the Women in Physics Group. It was a real pleasure to meet so many intelligent, generous women and learn a little from them.” 

Watch Finding Space

Video: Stills from Finding Space © Liz Hingley, Edwin Mingard and Annie Mahtani

More information about the artists Twitter/Instagram: @lizhingley1 Twitter/Instagram: @edwinmingard

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