In-Person @ Museum 4, Trinity College Dublin
(Doors open from 6:30pm) OR
via Zoom from 7pm
Geology and Art have always been closely linked. In the very earliest rock art, geologically sourced ochres provided the colours used. Subsequent other geologically derived colours were used, for example, lime, kaolin, barium or oxides of zinc and lead for white; ultramarine, copper with blood or cobalt for blue. Visual art recording was the crucial form of geological representation in the pre-photography era. This is best illustrated in Ireland by the collection of drawings and watercolours of George Victor Du Noyer who was engaged by the Geological Survey of Ireland in the mid-1800s. However, since the late 1800s the advancement of photography progressively reduced the reliance on artistic representation to aid geological recording and communication.
Over the last five decades in particular, there has been an incredible explosion of geological data acquisition and its interpretation and understanding. Geologists now operate in a much more multi-dimensional realm. On Mars piles of rock samples are accumulating for future collection. Space exploration, in particular the Hubble and Webb telescopes, are bombarding humanity with vast and wonderful volumes of data and imagery that illuminate new realities of the Universe and expand this geological realm. Surely now is the time for geologists to engage more fully with a broad spectrum of artists. A key aim of this would be to enable them to more-fully represent to the public the visible and invisible dimensions of our science. Dialogue between artists and geologists does enhance the perception of both.
Bill Sheppard completed a Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin on the Avoca Mine (County Wicklow) in 1981. His global career in exploration and mining geology extended to over 30 countries. He undertook reporting to Stock Exchange Standards, mineral deposit studies and mentoring for many international geological teams. He had a major role in the discovery of gold systems at Cavanacaw (County Tyrone), and in North Wexford.
Operating as Trails Creative, Bill now focuses on geological outreach, trail planning and promoting biodiversity awareness in local communities.