Breaking Boundaries: Intersecting Art, Science and Culture 12/9/16

Press Release – 12 September 2016

UK artists Melissa Pierce Murray and Diana Scarborough, in collaboration with the Basque dance company Dantzaz, develop a multidisciplinary performance for the DIPC Passion for Knowledge science festival in San Sebastian, Spain.


Breaking Boundaries, a live art installation combining sculpture, dance, projection and sound, marks the inauguration of the Passion for Knowledge 2016 science festival organized by Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC). By working with local dancers, taking concepts from science and sourcing sounds of the city, the artists have created a work which resonates with authenticity and creative interaction; an integral part of the San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016 program.

In 2014, Murray and Scarborough approached DIPC with a proposal to unite materials, science, culture and artistry. The artists both have backgrounds in fine art and science, giving them insight into cross-disciplinary projects, and are excited to collaborate on this artwork as a creative integration of their individual practices, shared intentions, aesthetics and vision.

Originally from the mountains of Colorado, USA, Murray has lived in San Sebastian, where she felt great affinity for the Basque landscape, the juncture of sea and stone, as well as the local culture: “My work in steel and stone strongly relates to the landscape and traces on human history of San Sebastian.”  Dancers interact with her figurative sculptures on stage while other works feature in the video.

Scarborough’s conceptually led practice considers sound and video as part of her palette for creating installations and performances. For Breaking Boundaries, she juxtaposed local sounds and science footage with animated drawings and sculpture to create a richly evocative soundscape and projection. “I am inspired by the scientists I met; their passion and belief that progress is linked with culture, technology and dialogue and I also see these echoes in the geology and the work of Chillida as well.”

DIPC is devoted to high level research in the fields of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, but it also assumes the responsibility of conveying scientific knowledge to society. With a commitment to drawing meaningful connections between the fields of science and art, DIPC commissioned Murray and Scarborough to create an artwork exploring cultural, scientific, artistic and emotional boundaries for the Passion for Knowledge science festival. In June the artists met scientists from DIPC, while running a workshop at Dantzaz to select dancers. The Passion for Knowledge festival continues with a series of workshops, encounters and talks by eminent scientists and Nobel Prize Laureates.

Breaking Boundaries will be performed at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 27th September, at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, Argentina Republika, 2, 20004 San Sebastián, Spain.

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