Maja Quille and Sarah Dale's proposal.jpg

Maja Quille and Sarah Dale’s proposal
Maja Quille and Sarah Dale’s proposal

The winners of a two-part competition which was open to both current ECA students and alumni are getting to work on their newly commissioned pieces. Their art will be installed as a permanent collection at the new Higgs Centre for Innovation, ready for its autumn opening.

The student winner, Lara Hirst , is a current fourth year sculpture student whose piece endeavours to look at the interaction between the Higgs field and the particle. Lara has said of the commision; "I was genuinely shocked to hear the result, I'd never anticipated being selected and being given the opportunity to produce a public artwork which will be viewed and enjoyed outside of the context of the art school or a gallery."

Despite her surprise, Lara, who is currently working on her degree show, went on to explain how she is really looking forward to working on the piece and seeing it installed in the centre.

The premise of alumni winners, Maja Quille and Sarah Dale’s piece was based on the question; what would happen if the Higgs field was switched off? Their proposal is an elusive object that leads to the unknown possibilities of future scientific endeavour. Maja and Sarah have chosen to imagine this system on a much larger scale, creating an impossible object, one that is at once present and absent.

Despite having supported each other throughout their careers, the Higgs project is the first time the pair have collaborated on a project and they are bringing together a wealth of expertise from different areas. Sarah has a studio at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and works with largely electronic technological mechanisms. She has a keen interest in science and is part of an art science collective group called Fusion set up by the University of Edinburgh. Maja is very interested in site-specificity and primarily specialises in artworks placed in public spaces. She is currently in the final stages of a major figurative commission for Musselburgh Town.

The centre, which will open at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, is named in honour of Professor Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh, who received the Nobel Prize for his prediction of the existence of the Higgs Boson, discovered at CERN in 2012.  The commissioned pieces of art were to be on the theme; ‘Peter Higgs: the man, the scientist, the science’.