Laboratory of Dark Matters


Thursday 6th – Saturday 29th April 2017

Laboratory of Dark Matters is a response by artists to scientific investigations into the unknown nature of the universe. Through a programme of exhibitions, workshops, talks and discussions it invites everyone driven by curiosity to explore fundamental questions about matter and consciousness. 

“Everything that we can see, all the matter that we can detect in the entire Universe

is less than 5% of what we believe to be present” 

In May 2016, a group of nine artists visited Boulby Underground Laboratory on the North East coast of England to meet scientists working on dark matter detection. Hosted by lab. director Prof. Sean Paling and UCL particle astrophysicist Dr Chamkaur Ghag the artists were transported 1100m below ground to a hidden environment located in the UK’s deepest working mine beyond the reach of cosmic rays and background radiation. Here the artists gained a glimpse into the dedicated world that the scientists inhabit and found there was common ground and connections they share as both seek to understand the mysteries of the universe and humans’ role within it. 

At Guest Projects the artists will adopt a laboratory ethos, conducting their own research and creating new work that will evolve during the residency. Boundaries between art and science will be tested as investigations proceed and explore not only the physics of our existence but our beliefs and mythologies. 

Visitors are welcome to visit the lab. to see work-in-progress, chat to artists and explore research material displayed in the information hub. Events will include workshops exploring topics such as cosmic particles, supersymmetry and phosphorescence; Lab.Talks+ to spark conservations across art and science disciplines with live web links to Boulby Underground Laboratory; and a Going Dark Party with live performances. The London residency will culminate in a final curated exhibition of new work that will subsequently be installed in the unique spaces of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum for the summer 2017. 

For event information and opening times see

Participating artists: Amy Gear, Daniel Clark, Elizabeth Murton, Kate Fahey, Luci Eldridge, Melanie King, Peter Glasgow, Sarah Gillett, Susan Eyre.


Thursday 6: Open Lab, 12-7pm. Visitors are welcome to visit; see work-in-progress; chat to artists; explore research material displayed in our information hub.

Friday 7: Make Your Own Phosphorescent Paper Workshops*  @ 12–1pm2.30-3.30pm4.30–5.30pm; 6.30-7.30pm; Make your own phosphorescent/glow in the dark paper and learn how to activate it using laser light. Discover how phosphorescence works, and where it can be found in the natural world. Open Lab, 12-7pm.

Saturday 8: Super Symmetry Workshop* 2-4pm; Create your own ‘particles’ from mirrored card, observe and draw their reflections lit against a ‘black mirror’. Learn about different particles such as Neutrinos and Dark Matter and how easy/difficult it is to observe them. Open Lab, 12-7pm

Sunday 9: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Tuesday 11: Cloud Chamber Workshop* 7–8.30pm Witness beautiful trails made by cosmic particles that are constantly passing through us on their journey across the universe. Make your own mini cloud chamber from simple materials, pure alcohol and dry ice and see a larger cloud chamber in action.

Thursday 13: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Friday 14: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Saturday 15: Cloud Chamber Workshop* 10.30am–12pm As above. Open Lab, 12-7pm

Sunday 16: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Thursday 20: Open Lab, 12-7pm


Friday 21: Lab. Talks+ Session 1* 2.00–5.30pm Explore Dark Matter with particle astrophysicist Dr. Chamkaur Ghag, guest artist & live weblink to Boulby Underground Laboratory;

Lab. Talks+ Session 2* 6.30–8.30pm Discover more art/science explorations with guest speakers + panel discussion;

Supper and Chats* 8.30–11pm Round-up the day with conversations over rice + veggie supper


Saturday 22: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Sunday 23: Open Lab, 12-7pm

Wednesday 26: Exhibition open, 12-7pm

Thursday 27: Exhibition open, 12-7pm

Friday 28: Going Dark. Party with live performances, 7-11pm
Exhibition open, 12-7pm

Saturday 29: Exhibition open, 12-7pm Final Day. 

 *Workshops and Lab. Talks+ will be ticketed through Eventbrite

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