Art to challenge assumptions of gender

Image: Poison Ladies, 2013 by artist Clara Ursitti

Three leading artists will participate in a pioneering project at the University of Dundee that will aim to challenge unconscious bias around gender in respect to how we work.

Doing Science in a Gendered World is a collaboration between Athena SWAN Dundee and LifeSpace Gallery which seeks to explore experiences of gender in the world of science, culminating in a major exhibition at the University in February next year. 

Cicely Farrer, curator of the project, said, “These events are the first part of what I hope will be an inspiring and self-reflective project. Our title, Doing Science in a Gendered World, is intentionally provocative. It is a quote by mathematical biologist and feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller from the 1980s. As our starting point, we have asked three artists, Kira O’Reilly, Clara Ursitti and Ker Wallwork, to share their work with us. My intention is for each of the artists’ works to create complexity and nuance to what is an incredibly personal subject.

"Clara Ursitti is an artist who works with scent. Her practice is concerned with how things that are invisible, can feel and exert an influence our behaviour. 

"Esteemed performance artist Kira O’Reilly will introduce her work and give an extended workshop to consider the question of how spaces, such as the laboratory, make and influence bodies. 

"Artist and filmmaker Ker Wallwork will present a moving image work alongside spoken word performance drawn from their research into endocrine disrupters with Kings College London, BFI and led project ‘Queering Love, Queering Hormones’.

"I hope some of the questions posed during the events will give an opportunity for everyone involved to recognise and question the gendered experiences of their everyday and working life."

Professor Inke Näthke, Associate Dean for Professional Culture at Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, said, “This institution was created by Mary Ann Baxter to promote education for everyone, and the University of Dundee is committed to gender equality for all. Despite the University’s long history in supporting women in science and similar to the situation in society in general, much still needs to be done. 

“We believe that by challenging beliefs and openly discussing the role of gender in science and how it is perceived, we can encourage those eager to enter a scientific career and help them to feel comfortable and safe when they do so.”

Doing Science in a Gendered World is free for all to attend and will take place in the School of Life Sciences at the University, on Monday 23 July.

Athena SWAN is a national network created by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to address gender equality in higher education and research.



For media enquiries contact:
Dominic Glasgow
Media Relations Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 385131