A hybrid exhibition within the fields of art and chemistry

Visit Us : Contact : Fund the Exhibition

At the APT Gallery, 6 Creekside, London SE8 4SA (link)
November 23rd to December 3rd 2023. Thursday to Sunday 12 - 6 pm

Private View: November 23rd. 6-8 pm. Friday 1st December: Late Opening to 8 pm

Low resolution catalogue in spread format - Here.
Hi-res printed version - hardback A4 82pp
£30 unsigned or £50 signed + UK p+p: Please email.

PDF book on demand

Images of the Exhibition                    Movies of the Exhibition

About Valency
Valency is defined as the capacity of elements to combine to form molecules and compounds. Without this ability the universe would literally be a dust of single atoms. Each element has its own intrinsic ability to combine. This ability leads to the endless complexity of the chemical world in which we live. The number of combinations approaches infinity, and each has its own unique properties and signature. Throughout history there has been much exploration of this landscape and there remain untold avenues of complexity to discover.

Within culture the property of valency also has meaning. The bringing together of disparate objects in the juxtapositions of the Surrealist movement implies the construction of narratives. Apart from exploring metaphorical landscapes in the realm of consciousness, there is also the introduction of the axiomatic in the field of objective philosophy. Then again, there is a simple expression in the curiosity in experimentation and the 'what if' of creating new materials. These enquiries can be used to engage with, and interpret, our experience of the physical world, its energy fields and dynamics.

It is within the above context that this exhibition develops its metaphor. By bringing together diverse works, a chemical reaction is encouraged within the imagination of the audience. Each researcher has evolved an understanding derived from their own experiences and observations of the chemical world. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to draw their own parallels and resonances and to integrate their own analogies as they move within its space.

Research chemistry and contemporary art practice are often perceived as distant relatives occupying unique fields. Many of the experiments in chemistry are derived from observations of natural phenomena and then seen to be explored within the closed environment of the laboratory. Artists follow a similar path in the studio; although each has their own set of protocols. From an historical perspective both chemistry and art have been associated with magic, alchemy and the manufacture of unique compounds.

Curated by Paul Malone and Nicola Rae

 Assistant curator: Haoyue Chen   (pdf)


Please click on the names for the participant's Valency page with further information

Adam Blaney - responsive materials #01

Cristina Giordano - colloids and nanomaterials #02

David Bloor - sound art #03

Huan Wang - textiles #04

Jan Jarosz - photography #05

John O'Mara - transitions #06

Licia Dossi - chemistry of colours #07

Liv Tsim - e-waste recycling #08

Marinus van der Sluijs - chemical mythology #09

Nicola Rae - interdisciplinary art #10

Olga F. Koroleva - video #11

Paul Malone - multimedia art #12

Sabrina Simoncelli - nano-bio photonics #13

WHABBstudio - environmental art #14


Supported by:

Wenqin Wang

Peter and Carol Wilkinson