We recently introduced you to Gareth Campbell, founder of The Museum Of Science, the Arts & Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Here, we took our opportunity to ask artist and entrepreneur, Gaz, SAW’s Top Three questions!


1. What is your most interesting scientific fact?

I like the ‘meta-fact’ of the half-life of facts.

As scientists we must be willing to question what we believe to be true. A 2002 paper by Poynard et.al. found that after 45 years half of the conclusions from hepatitis/cirrhosis studies had become false or obsolete. (A tongue-in-cheek caveat is that this paper was written 22 years ago; there is a ~80% chance this fact is still valid). When I do sessions with trainee teachers now, I like to highlight this. Teaching as a profession seems to have a habit of holding onto outdated and superseded ideas as lingering myths. Not naming names… Learning Styles.


2. What is your favourite piece of art?

My work is increasingly being informed by all forms of art from music to creative tech, but I am always drawn back to painting. The Madonna of Port Lligat (1950 version) by Salvador Dalí is one of my all-time favourites.

Now hanging in Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan I was lucky enough to see it in person in 2012. We usually are underwhelmed by the size of artworks when we see them in person but this mammoth painting has the opposite effect.

I love the juxtaposition of religious imagery in more modern contexts to create minimally counterintuitive concepts, a theme which I try to recreate in my artwork and the Madonna of Port Lligat exemplifies this. The image of Christ holding a ball in one hand and a book in the other, to me, signifies the role of childhood to play and to learn and these themes also crop up now and again in my paintings as a nod to Dalí’s influence on my work.


3. What is your favourite piece of written word?

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 52. I was definitely one of those young people who would have moaned at the thought of writing or interpreting poetry, but when I was introduced to the sonnets at university, number 52 stood out to me and it is a piece that I often return to for inspiration.

As a young queer person, it was comforting to read between the lines of this centuries old sonnet, to see that questioning your sexuality is nothing new. The first poem I wrote for a science lesson was the Iambic Organ, using iambic pentameter to symbolise the heartbeat for a poem to revise heart anatomy.

My love for Sonnet 52 gave me the confidence to write this piece and showed me that poetry is a way of leaving things open for the reader to interpret whilst simultaneously evoking imagery in the reader’s mind.