Winners' gallery

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‘Hidden Learning’, from the Chrysalis project

Original painting by Sophie McKay Knight, with imagery contributed by women scientists from the University of St Andrews – part of the Chrysalis project coordinated by Mhairi Stewart

Hidden Learning is taken from Chrysalis, a project at the University of St Andrews designed to bring together women scientists at all stages of their careers to talk about issues and to seek advice and inspiration.

Some of its conversations were interpreted by artist Sophie McKay Knight to create a body of work that was displayed in the Byre Gallery in St Andrews as part of the Women in Science Festival 2016. A key aim of the Chrysalis project is to examine how creativity and imagination are required as well as integrity and precision when pursuing scientific research.

Hidden Learning explores what women feel they keep hidden in the work environment, such as the pull between their career and home/other life – unique as that is to every woman. The veil seen in this image is made up of the molecular structure of a sugar molecule, contributed by one of the participating scientists.

Imaging technique: painting

Painting spans all cultures and dates back to the time of prehistoric humans. Paints are produced by suspending a pigment in a material such as oil, gum or an acrylic polymer. The material used determines the properties of the paint, such as its pigmentation, viscosity, solubility and drying time.

Location where image was created

St Andrews, Scotland 

Image creators

Chrysalis, a project at the University of St Andrews, raises awareness of and creates opportunities for women in science. Funded by a Biochemical Society Diversity in Science Grant, the initiative brings early career and established researchers into informal conversations. Originally from Liverpool, local professional artist Sophie gained her degree in fine art from Edinburgh College of Art and has been painting, exhibiting and teaching ever since. Find out more.

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