Winners announced for Oxford’s Beyond Boundaries art competition
Oxford University has announced the winners of its science-inspired schools’ art competition Beyond Boundaries which was launched to encourage inclusion in science research. Running for the second time (first run in 2018), the competition was developed to increase the visibility of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic scientists and mathematicians, while also engaging local schools and young people in showcasing their research in art form.
Oxfordshire state school pupils were asked to create art – of any form – based on profiles of six Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic researchers from the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division of the University of Oxford. As part of their profiles, researchers shared their personal and career stories, as well as their current work in areas such as infectious diseases, cacao trees, nuclear fusion, sand rat genetics, cryopreservation, and data visualisation.
The competition received 215 entries from students in the Oxfordshire area. Winners were chosen for each year group from 5-8, by a panel of judges including: Sara Lowes, Curator of Creative Learning, Modern Art Oxford; Prof Matt Jarvis, MPLS Associate Head (People); and Dr Pavandeep Rai, Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics).
Winners received £100 and runners up received £50 as well as the chance to have their work displayed in the forthcoming Beyond Boundaries exhibition at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (dates to be confirmed).
Submissions were rich in variety, and ranged from drawings and paintings to digital animations, and winners included Bethany Atherton, of the Warriner School, Banbury, who won the Year 8 competition with her piece titled ‘Bee Aware’, which was inspired by botanist Acheampong (Aché) Atta-Boateng’s research.
Beyond Boundaries was recognised in Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Awards 2020 for ‘promoting awareness’ of equality and diversity in science research.