In 2011, Newcastle Science City awarded the Community Science Grant to Rachael Allen and Mick Smith at Charles Street Community Association to deliver workshops that engaged the public in the world of Leonardo Da Vinci. Their aim was to bridge the gap between arts and science, whilst assigning to the central themes of Science City.
Health and Ageing workshops included Anatomise me! that explored issues relating to human health and physiological aging. Inspired by Da Vinci studies of the human anatomy, group members engaged with the process of anatomical art making, often involving the use of their own bodies.
Environmental Sustainability workshops engaged with the issues, problems, solutions and science relating to environmental and energy sustainability. Da Vinci spent a great deal of time observing working people, and coming up with ideas for machines to make their jobs easier. Group members were invited to recreate Da Vinci machines designed to sustain energy and natural resources, using a variety of recyclable materials and art media.
The workshops provided a stimulating, thought provoking and creative environment for the community to boost their knowledge of science whilst developing artistic skills.
As part of Newcastle ScienceFest 2012, Leonardo Da Vinci: Man and Machine will present artworks created by participants during the workshops, and by the artists involved in the year long project.