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Watch > Episode > Dr Sarah Jane Pell - The Artistic Aquanaut

Dr Sarah Jane Pell - The Artistic Aquanaut


TED fellow and artist researcher Dr. Sarah Jane Pell joins Brian Rose at London Real studios to talk about her unique fascination with all things underwater, how she maintains a dual role as both an artist and scientist, her involvement with the Atlantica Undersea Colony, and her thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding TED.

An Australian artist, researcher, and occupational diver, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell has carved a unique niche at the intersection of art, space exploration, and human performance. Born with a passion for the arts and a fascination with the depths of the ocean, Dr. Pell’s multidisciplinary journey has propelled her into the realms of space analogue missions and groundbreaking artistic expressions.

Growing up in a family that nurtured creativity, Dr. Pell’s early years were marked by an affinity for both science and the arts. Her journey began with studies in classical ballet, which laid the foundation for her future explorations in the expressive potential of the human body. As she delved into the world of performance arts, she soon realised the boundless possibilities that lay at the intersection of art and science.

Dr. Pell’s fascination with the underwater world led her to become a skilled occupational diver. Her experiences beneath the waves not only informed her artistic expressions but also became an integral part of her exploration into the limits of human performance. She pioneered the concept of aquabatics, a form of underwater performance art that blends her skills as a diver with her artistic vision.

Dr. Sarah Jane Pell’s artistic endeavours expanded beyond the depths of the ocean to the limitless expanse of outer space. She became a leading figure in the field of space art, a genre that seeks to explore and represent the unique experiences of space travel through artistic expression. Her artworks often reflect the intersection of humanity and the cosmos, capturing the awe-inspiring aspects of space exploration.

As an advocate for the integration of arts into space exploration, Dr. Pell has actively participated in space analogue missions. These missions simulate the conditions of space travel, allowing researchers and astronauts to test various aspects of space missions in controlled environments on Earth. Dr. Pell’s involvement in these missions reflects her commitment to pushing the boundaries of human experience and creativity in space.

One of Dr. Pell’s notable projects is “Astrodiva,” a performance art piece conducted in microgravity during a parabolic flight. This unique endeavour allowed her to explore movement and expression in a gravity-free environment, challenging conventional notions of how the body can interact with space. “Astrodiva” stands as a testament to Dr. Pell’s innovative approach to blending artistic practice with the challenges and opportunities presented by space exploration.

In addition to her artistic achievements, Dr. Pell is an accomplished researcher and academic. Holding a Ph.D. in Performance Studies, her academic work delves into the intersections of art, science, and human experience. Her research contributions extend to the fields of performance studies, space humanities, and the exploration of the human body in extreme environments.

Dr. Sarah Jane Pell is a vocal advocate for STEAM education, emphasising the integration of arts into the traditional fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Her advocacy underscores the importance of fostering creativity and interdisciplinary thinking in the next generation of scientists, engineers, and artists.

As a pioneering figure at the crossroads of art, space, and human performance, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell’s legacy is marked by her ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries.

This innovative approach to space art and performance challenges the conventional narratives of exploration, inviting us to reimagine the possibilities that lie at the intersection of science and creativity.

As she continues to explore new frontiers, Dr. Pell remains a beacon for those who seek to push the boundaries of human expression and understanding
Her journey, marked by a deep appreciation for both the artistic and scientific dimensions of human existence, inspires a new generation to dream beyond the constraints of traditional disciplines and explore the vast, uncharted territories where creativity and discovery intersect.


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