A Sculptor met a Researcher in Dentistry

Interdisciplinary conversations between artists and academics

Absence of Light

Sculptor Janetka Platun created 'Absence of Light' in response to her conversation with David Mills

This is how she got there...

Janetka Platun
Dr David Mills

Janetka Platun’s practice incorporates sculpture, film and installation. Her art is shaped by phenomenological ideas, posing questions about our existential and moral relationship to our surroundings. These reveal deeper meanings of home, belonging and loss. Her work attends to the inter-relational complexities of people, place, time, memory and desire.

Examples include: Fertig, Tate Exchange and V&A Museum of Childhood (2018); Cuming: A Natural Selection, Peckham Platform and London College of Communication (2015 & 2018); Lights Out, The Southbank Centre (2014); Figure of 8, Brixton Ice Rink, The National Theatre and People United (2013); Not hat is this, Ceredigion Museum (2013) and Gigacycle, a laser installation in Harlow, the birthplace of fibre optic communication (2012). She also designed sails for a flotilla of yachts escorting the Olympic flame across the Thames as part of the Cultural Olympiad, reaching global audiences (2012).

Since 2016 she has worked on Globe, with the Schools of Geography and Drama at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The sculpture and films created have been shown at The Royal Geographical Society, O.P. Jindal Global University, India, Trento University, Italy, The National Maritime Museum, the Geffrye Museum, the Science Museum and Tate Exchange.

Janetka is an Artist Fellow at QMUL. In 2021 she was shortlisted artist for the St Pancras Wires commission. She has exhibited extensively and received awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Council, Leverhulme Trust, and Arts Council England.

David is a researcher using X-Rays and other imaging techniques to probe and describe the structure of teeth, bones and historic documents. When not X-raying anything he can gets his hands on, he spends his time tinkering with obsolete and not-so obsolete technology, taking photos of distant corners of the universe from his back garden and drinking Tea.

'Gigacycle' by Janetka Platun
'Sky' by David Mills
On 7 August 2020, Janetka and David held their conversation
On 7 August 2020, Janetka and David held their conversation

on David's research and scanning letters

Why don't we take the plunge and talk about our practices a bit?

Janetka Platun

how did you make Sky?

When I saw it, two things ran through my mind: how much changes in five minutes; and it made me think about something I've always wanted to see - the famous green flash!

Janetka Platun

tomography in relation to 3D sculpture

What is tomography?

Janetka Platun

that well known law of Pringles cans...

a shared love of iron gall ink!

on Janetka's practice

absence, decay and the indestructibility of teeth

Teeth: most vulnerable in the place they were intended

Janetka Platun

love of analogue, and a return to iron gall ink...

If you want to write something with your homemade iron gall ink, we shall scan it and recover it!

Dr David Mills

Wind From a Dying Star

David Mills created this piece in response to his conversation with Janetka Platun