My project at the James Hutton Institute has officially ended with the last working day in April 2017. I shared farewell cake and best wishes with the people I met during my two years stay at the institute, but the real farewell from my closes collaborators took place two weeks later, when we visited Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. I’m so sad to leave the group, although I’m also looking forward to new adventures in Slovenia.
The Botanic garden really is amazing and it reminded me again of the wonderful plant diversity. Here are some photos from the day, although I don’t think I can do justice to the plants or the day with my photos…
As a student I worked in a gallery for 5 years and have been to many openings of exhibitions, but I have never been on the other side, setting one up. Therefore, last Friday was the first time for me to be an active part of an exhibition, which aimed to increase appreciation of the beauty and complexity of roots and to portray the essential roles of roots in environmental sustainability and food security. It is my please to say that it was great!
This was a collaborative approach of course, as anything in science is, and was supported by The Centre of the Knowledge Exchange and Impact of the Scottish Government. The force behind it all was Jean Duncan, a CECHR artist in residence, who is not only great artist but also an amazing person and I’m very grateful I could work with her. She created a beautiful set of root images using different artistic techniques (etching and printing, mainly) and produced paper form different plant fibres. Not much could be done without Prof. Philip White, my supervisor, but also the main actor in acquiring the funding and in writing the text accompanying the scientific images of roots exhibited and presented in the booklet we created for the occasion. Other collaborators comprised Dr Lionel Dupuy (The James Hutton Institute), Prof. Glyn Bengough (The James Hutton Institute and University of Dundee), Prof. Ian Bingham (Scotland’s Rural College) and Prof. Jane Wishart (University of St Andrews). Last but not least was excellent technical support, particularly from Gladys Wright, my second hand when it came down to designing the hydroponic system and all other small bits and pieces that needed to be worked out, Lloyd Crichton and David Laird from the institute’s workshops, who actually built the equipment for the hydroponic system, and Ralph Wilson and Jackie Thompson, who helped set the exhibition up. Thanks to Tracy for the time lapses of swede seed germination!
It has been busy few weeks preparing the arts/science exhibition with Jean Duncan (Cechr artist in residence) and collaborators from The James Hutton Institute, Scotland’s Rural College and University of St Andrews. The opening event will take place on 17th of March and the exhibition will be staged until 30th March. This exhibition will comprise of photographs, plants and prints with the aim to increase appreciation of the beauty and complexity of roots and portray the essential roles of roots in environmental sustainability and food security. All are welcome to some along to see it (no entrance fee). I’m excited but also worried how it will go, especially as we are planning to exhibit plants with roots exposed…
Gladys, my co-worker, planned for a perfect Christmas gift for me and my family. As a former (semi)professional flower arranger, her every year’s gift are handmade wreaths. Last year she made one for us and at first, although I loved it, I thought it was a strange gift. In Slovenia, we make or buy wreaths 4 weeks before Christmas (this is our Advent time), we attach 4 candles (each candle represents one Sunday before Christmas) and we lit one candle every Sunday up to Christmas. Here in Scotland, it appears there is a different tradition. They have wreaths for time closer to Christmas and I assume this is more for decoration than for “anticipation” of Christmas.
To cut the long story short, this past week Gladys had a plan for us. The plan involved a lot of plant material, of course J. She brought all raw material needed for wreath making and invited us to make our own wreaths. Here is when 6-year-old’s creativity goes wild (and parents manage not to interfere too much):
It still amazes me what a bunch of twigs, some flowers, well-placed decorations and creativity can do. We had a great time and continue to enjoy our gifts. Thank you Gladys!
There is a beautiful (barley) field in front of my institute and a year ago, I decided to take one photo of it each month (from October 2015 to September 2016, early morning on the day). Although now I regret I did not take photos more frequently and that the shots do not overlay perfectly, I’m glad I managed to capture the changes in the field in this short time lapse.