Discovery News

Students Ignite Discovery's Curiosity Mission with Art Installations

(London) Today, June 21th 2012, Discovery’s European TV headquarters in London is launching a project to showcase work by up and coming artists over the next 12 months.  Partnering with Chelsea College of Art and Design, part of the University of the Arts London, Discovery invited over 100 second year students to create a piece of art that responded to the concept of ‘Igniting curiosity.’ After a competitive pitch four students have been selected to exhibit work in a range of media from interactive sculptures to a 3D butterfly installation and immersive photography.

"Inspiring people and satisfying curiosity is at the heart of our business.  We provide a window to the world through the programmes we make. We wanted to partner with the University of Arts to encourage creativity and innovation and to see how students interpret curiosity through the lens of the art world.  This is a unique arts project and we have been truly inspired by the quality of submissions and the passion and talent demonstrated by the students who have taken part,” said John Honeycutt, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Discovery Networks International.

Eight students were shortlisted and invited to come into Discovery’s offices and deliver a competitive pitch to a panel of Discovery executives including its in-house creative team.  The four final winners were chosen for creating art that are inspiring, imaginative and engaging:   

  • Magnitude by Emma Cahill. Constructed from plastic and liquid ready-mades, her winning piece will stimulate the excitement of discovery, both close-up and from a distance, through the viewer’s interaction with liquid ready-made toys. 
  • Narcissus by Edward Alderwick. This piece explores cultural imagery and iconography based on the story of Narcissus, a man who drowns in his own image.
  • Musical Endangered Butterflies Wall by He Huang. This piece sees 1,000 handmade paper butterflies attached to the wall in a swarm formation.  Some of them will have music boxes attached, allowing staff to interact with them. 
  • Sea Anemone by Mimi Winsor. For Mimi, a giant colourful anemone sculpture represents the idea of looking into a rock pool – a microcosm of the larger world that Discovery invites its viewers to explore.  During lunchtime periods a projected image will create the impression of being under the sea and evoke the feeling of the sea and tides. 

The programme will launch on 21st June 2012 and the winning artists will display their work in rotation on a quarterly basis over a 12-month period.

Emma Cahill, the first artist to display her work in Discovery’s UK office, said:“’Magnitude’ articulates Discovery’s mission of satisfying curiosity through the notions of interaction, movement, and time.  Magnetised to the Perspex surfaces, the liquid timers lay dormant until individually activated by Discovery staff.  Once activated the piece comes alive.” 

Martin Newth, Programme Director BA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, said: “This was a fabulous opportunity for our students to get out of their studios at college and consider how their work might operate in the world. The Discovery Channel encouraged the students to be ambitious and take creative risks. The students responded by coming up with a range of proposals that really stretched and developed their ideas and working processes. And which will make for a really vibrant and engaging series of installations.”

John Honeycutt, EVP and COO Discovery Networks International, said: "Not only will the project form part of students’ curriculum, allowing them to gain credits towards their degree, but it will also provide them with exposure to a global business early on in their professional careers with the opportunity to showcase their work on a large scale to hundreds of people every day including Discovery’s creative heads.”

Mimi Winsor, another of the four artists, said: “Discovery explores the vast world around us and my inspiration comes from the smaller world found within this; a microcosm hidden underwater, contained in a rock pool. It is my aim that this lively sculpture ignites curiosity and fills onlookers with a nostalgic excitement.

“It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to expose my artwork to a wider audience, who are interested in the fantastic natural structures found in our world. Having the chance to create large scale work will further my professional practice and help me to progress once I leave Chelsea College of Art and Design.”

Other info
‘Great White Wall’ is part of the ‘Discovery Impact’ outreach programme which leverages the power of Discovery's brands, businesses and employees to support individuals and communities across the Globe.  

About Chelsea College of Art and Design
University of the Arts London is the first dedicated arts institution in the UK to achieve university status. Based at 17 sites across London, from Oxford Street, to the Archway, to Hackney, Wimbledon and Southwark, the University brings together six of the world's most famous art and design colleges. They are: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design  (incorporating Drama Centre and Byam Shaw School of Art), Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication (formerly London College of Printing), London College of Fashion (incorporating Cordwainers) and Wimbledon College of Art (formerly Wimbledon School of Art).                  

The Colleges have produced many of the greatest names in art, design, communications, fashion and performing arts, including: Anish Kapoor, Sir Terence Conran, John Galliano, Ralph Fiennes, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Turk, Stella McCartney, Gilbert and George, Antony Gormley, Pierce Brosnan, Rankin, Jefferson Hack, Mike Leigh, Malcolm McLaren, Colin Firth, Jane Root, Rebekah Wade, John Hegarty, Peter Kindersley, Tom Hunter and Harold Tillman.

Discovery Networks Western Europe
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.7 billion cumulative subscribers in over 200 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 147 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as US joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including HowStuffWorks.com. In Western Europe, 18 Discovery brands reach 331 million cumulative subscribers with programming customized in 13 languages.

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