Name: Sofia Polkonuk
What came first in your life, science or art?
As a young girl, both had a deep influence on me. My parents are artisans, so the artistic part was always there since I was very young, but on the other hand, they also studied biology, so my home was a place where art and science merged.
However, for my career, I decided to go into science, I studied Biology and got my PhD. 3 years ago.
Which sciences relate to your art practice?
In my artwork, I am inspired by nature, by the creatures I work with. Biology is the source of my creativity and new ideas.
What materials do you use to create your artworks?
I mainly use pencil and watercolor. Because watercolor techniques are so versatile, I can play with other elements to create effects and different ways to blend colors.
Artwork/exhibition you are most proud of:
Recently I got the opportunity to present my artwork in Pint of Science, creative responses, This was the first time I was showing my work in an exhibition, so I was very happy to see people’s reaction and to show this part of me.
Which scientists and/or artists inspire you and/or influence you?
I have always been fascinated by naturalistic depictions such as those of Linnaeus and Darwin. I have always admired the level of detail, colors and idea of visual communication behind his drawings and paintings.
Nowadays, scientists and medical illustrators show me the world of digital art. There are great examples of very talented illustrators that inspire me to learn more about this field.
ScienceArt is an emerging term related to the combination of art and science. How do you define it?
To me, ScienceArt refers to the use of artistic media, creativity, and visual tools to communicate science. This is the place where the beauty of the scientific world can be expressed and seen from a different perspective. Even though the term is new, I think artistic representation of science, at least for biology, was at its beginning, where observation and accurate representation of the living world was very important to describe and communicate discoveries.
featured image: female drosophila By Sofia Polkonuk
All images courtesy of the artist.
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