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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 13



Art of Science image titled Ichor

Scientist Collaborators Deanna A. Hence, Calvin Elkins, Jeff Trapp, Steve Nesbitt

Deanna A. Hence Group

Funded by National Science Foundation


Most of us have felt the eerie silence before a thunderstorm. A bright day suddenly turns dark and ominous. There’s a certain smell in the air, both comforting and unsettling. And then you hear it. A sudden crack and a torrential downpour, flooding the area, and causing everyone to run for cover. This experience is all too common in the southeast regions of South America, which are home to some of the most intense thunderstorms in the world. In addition to extreme lightning activity and flooding, the storms create hail, which is devastating to the agricultural fields.

The artist has used research images of storms from Argentina and has set them against the background of architectural posters that depict the landscape. By doing so, she has captured the feeling of a devastating storm: It is a giant monster that flattens everything in its path as it advances. The emotional experience has also been incorporated by using images of hail collected from Argentinian Twitter. Taken together, the piece reminds us that our experiences are both unique and universal.