Artist Willa Downing gives a talk Thursday (May 7) at the Surrey Art Gallery.

Talk with a scientific artist

Willa Downing will share her insights and techniques at the Surrey Art Gallery.

Art and science aren’t usually close companions. However, Surrey’s Willa Downing has made a career out of both.

On May 7 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Thursday Artist Talk series at the Surrey Art Gallery, visitors can discover how she tackles the intriguing dialogue between the two fields.

“Although different, art and science share some characteristics,” she says.”Both use abstract models to understand the world. Both seek to create works with universal meaning. Both are creative: a sense of wonder opens up new possibilities for the imagination, new geographies for the creative process.”

Illustrated with slides and a portfolio of drawings, Downing will discuss her recent body of work that ranges from “wilderness survival skills” to the dialogue in Pride and Prejudice.

With a PhD in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia, Downing has worked in plant research in Canada and abroad. Her scientific work has been published in several international, peer-reviewed journals. Also devoted to making art, Downing has a diploma in painting and drawing from the Emily Carr College (now University) of Art + Design. Inspired by revelations, made by science, of the intricacies and beauty of nature, her work examines wonders of nature in the microscopic and macroscopic. Downing’s work has been exhibited in Metro Vancouver and Victoria. She now lives and works in Surrey. For more information about her work, visit www.willadowning.ca

There will be time for questions and conversation during and following the talk. The event concludes by 9 p.m. Refreshments are provided. This event is presented by the Surrey Art Gallery Association in partnership with the Surrey Art Gallery, and with support from the Arts Council of Surrey.

Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) is a non-profit society that offers its members the opportunity to participate in and respond to contemporary art, and be part of a community that actively supports the Surrey Art Gallery.

Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 88 Ave. Phone 604-501-5566or check www.surrey.ca/artgallery