Skip to main content


Picturing the Invisible: a new AHRC-funded research network

Roberto Trotta digital image of The Planck Collaboration, a CMB Map on a black background
Roberto Trotta digital image of The Planck Collaboration, a CMB Map on a black background
Roberto Trotta - The Planck Collaboration, CMB Map
Written by
Gabriele Grigorjeva
Published date
02 May 2019

We are delighted to announce the launch of the AHRC-funded research network Picturing the Invisible

The network is led by Prof. Paul Coldwell, Professor in Fine Art at University of the Arts London (UAL). Coldwell is both an artist and academic with a practice that includes working with museums and collections. The co-investigator is Prof. Ruth Morgan, Professor of Crime and Forensic Science at University College London (UCL) Department of Security and Crime Science, and the Director of the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences.

This network will address a common problem for all disciplines, how to articulate the invisible, that which is not known or that which is not provable. The challenge for academics is how to articulate these concepts, firstly to those within their academic field and then beyond, to other disciplines and the public at large. Furthermore, as our understanding of the complexity of the world grows incrementally, so our realisation that issues and problems can rarely be resolved within neat demarcations. Therefore, the importance of finding means of communicating across disciplines and fields becomes a priority. So, whilst acknowledging the essential importance of the specialist academic, the capacity to understand other disciplines, their priorities, methodologies and even the language used can become crucial in being an effective instrument for change.

This project brings together leading academics from a wide range of disciplines including Art & Design, Curatorial Practice, Literature, Forensic Science, Fashion, Medical Science, Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Philosophy, Astrophysics and Architecture with a shared interest in exploring how, in each discipline, we strive to find expression for the invisible or unknown. It is anticipated that as the project develops, further disciplines will be added to the network.

Paul Coldwell lisograph print in black and white, called 'ruins in ochre'
Paul Coldwell: Picturing the Invisible 'ruins in ochre'

Network Members:

  • Professor Stephan Doering, M.D. Dept. of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna
  • Professor Mark Emberton, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University College London
  • Professor Adam Gibson, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London
  • Professor Paul Goodwin, Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism & Director of TrAIN, University of the Arts London
  • Owen Hopkins, Curator, Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • Professor Roger Kneebone, Director, Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS), Imperial College London
  • Professor Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • Professor Tanja Staehler, Lecturer in Philosophy, Centre for Literature and Philosophy, University of Sussex
  • Susan Tallman, Editor in Chief, Art in Print and School of the Art Institute Chicago
  • Professor Irene Tracey, MA (Oxon), D.Phil., FRCA, FMedSci Head of Department & Nuffield Chair in Anesthetic Science, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford
  • Dr Roberto Trotta, Reader in Astrophysics and Data Science Institute Academic Fellow, Imperial College London

For further information you can visit our UAL webpage.

Follow us on Twitter for news and updates.