To coincide with the Radium Dreams exhibition this event brings together artist Soheila Sokhanvari with writers Megan Hunter and Rebecca Sollom to explore the overlaps and interrelations between science, text and art. Before becoming an artist and writer, Soheila and Rebecca were practising scientists so will offer a unique viewpoint on their process within their differing careers. There will be the opportunity to hear Megan and Rebecca read extracts of their writing and to see images of Soheila’s recent body of work. What this event will offer is the chance to hear about the conditions needed for creativity, what accomplishment feels like and what happens when things don’t go to plan.

Speaker Biographies

Megan Hunter is a prizewinning author of two novels: The End We Start From (2017) and The Harpy (2020), both of which have been translated into multiple languages. Her first novel has been adapted into a feature film, and she is developing her second for television. Her poetry, short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The White Review, the TLS, Literary Hub, Five Dials, BOMB, and elsewhere.

Soheila Sokhanvari is a British/Iranian artist, born in Shiraz whose multimedia work deals with the contemporary political landscape with a focus on pre-revolutionary Iran of 1979. She is drawn to events and traumas that linger in the collective consciousness or cause mass amnesia. Faced with political events and traumas of contemporary Iranian politics that are impossible to represent, she draws with Iranian crude oil on paper that allows medium to carry the political message. Her paintings employ the medieval technique of egg tempera on vellum by grinding colour pigments and mixing with egg yolk.

Soheila Sokhanvari first graduated in Biochemistry in 1986. She worked as a cytogenetics from 1987 and as a research scientist for Cambridge University from 1998-2005 when she took a leap of faith to follow her dreams to become an artist. She studied from 2001-2005 part time and graduated with a degree in Fine Art and Art History from Anglia Ruskin University, followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2006 and an MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in 2011. She has recently exhibited in a solo show Rebel Rebel at Barbican Curve Gallery, that ended in Feb 2023 and was selected as one of 22 artists for a public arts commission for Victoria Station, London by the Tate and the London Mayor in 2018. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and has work in public and private collections including LACMA in Los Angeles, The Government Collection as well as The Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College.

Rebecca Sollom is an Australian writer living in the UK. She came to Cambridge on a Gates Scholarship to study for a PhD in cosmology in the Cavendish Laboratory’s Astrophysics Group, and later went on to earn an MA in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia. Her story ‘National Dress’, about a child monarch who is deepfaked, was published in the Spring Issue of Granta magazine in 2022, and she is currently working on her full-length debut, a novel in which a mythological hero discovers she is the star of the last reality TV show on Earth.