frédérique swist

Biography

Born in France, I have lived and worked in the UK since 1997, currently as a senior graphic designer for IOP Publishing in Bristol, the publishing arm of the Institute of Physics. My background and education is in fine art, graphic design and visual communication.

I completed a postgraduate degree in 2014 at the University of the West of England. My doctoral research explores the concept of visuality as a shared notion between artistic and scientific production. Based on my own art practice, the thesis asks: how can meaning be translated, transformed, and transfigured between one domain (science) and another (art), using the visual as its mode of mediation?

Statement

My artistic practice focuses on the study of the relationship between art and science, and more specifically on the visualisation of physics through art. My attempt is to contribute to the communication of science from a visual approach, as I explore scientific concepts primarily from an aesthetic perspective. Taking inspiration from technical graphs, diagrams and models found in published scientific research, the artwork becomes colour-charged highly visual new imagery in its own right, aesthetically distanced but never fully detached from its original meaning.

My knowledge of the subject of physics is limited, which I use as an asset in my work. I approach my reference material by applying new functions to the forms and colours that I manipulate, while retaining the underlying scientific information. I often discuss with physicists the science that inspired the artwork and benefit from their expertise in explaining aspects of physics in a more engaging way. Each piece can be appreciated on different levels; from pure abstraction to material inspired by the most advanced physics research, it provides viewers with the opportunity to form their own interpretations, and to choose ways to engage visually and/or intellectually with the imagery.