The quest for knowledge is inspiring in science and in art. Leonardo didn’t distinguish between the two; he experimented in every way possible.

I was delighted that many of the 35 artists who will be exhibiting in this year’s Oxford Brookes University Fine Art Degree Show were inspired by science and mathematics. Their curiosity about ideas and technologies often produces a stunning visual image.

Liam Worth’s Black Sun Rising (right) appears on the catalogue cover. The shiny black peaks are not created by paint or resin but by a magnetic liquid called ferro-fluid. He says: “Magnetism is a force you can’t see so I enjoy showing it is there. Ferro-fluid is a liquid that becomes solid and is a lovely medium. I like the pure lines of Japanese arts.”

Liam has two Japanese installations — one inspired by bonsai and the other by a sushi bar.

Annie Wright’s work was accidentally inspired by science. She said: “One day I saw some dust motes dancing in a shaft of sunlight. I love dance and choreography and wanted to recreate the beauty of that dancing dust. I came across the work of the 18th-century physicist, Chladni, and was very excited to see that when a violin bow is drawn down the side of a plate, the vibrations make dust ‘dance’ and settle in patterns. Sound made visible.”

Steven Thurlow uses unusual materials, like beaten aluminium, CDs, slate and surfaces embossed with Braille for his art but also understands that mathematics is beautiful. He uses the repetitive tiling triangle of the Polish mathematician Sierpinski. Steven has created a website ( which he calls a living manifesto that can be changed. He discovered that Pythagorus’s theorem can be downloaded as a visual programme which looks organic, even bacterial.

Harriet Rutter uses herself, rather like Anthony Gormley uses his body, and her resulting images are beautiful; the beauty lies in the white spaces as well as the silhouette. She performs in the darkroom directly on paper.

Rose Brettingham is another artist who manipulates photographic negatives and uses mundane materials transforming them into surreal and beautiful images.

There is traditional media, too. On his huge canvasses, Frederick Coppin deconstructs the human body, but the effect of the resulting geometrics shapes is an image that is both soft and vivacious. This is not three-dimensional but, with his paint brush, he creates both movement and personality. His is a talent to watch.

There is something for everyone in this show. Janey Carline is a community artist who likes to construct the space in which to relax and create life balance. She is a child at heart who loves play. Families will love her beach. Lie in one of her hammocks and let the musical waves wash over you. You can also see her work in her garden at 51 Wantage Road, Wallingford.

Nia Walling’s room recreates a domestic space. She aims for it to be therapeutic and wants us to interact with it, to make houses out of paper, write on them and burn them like Chinese funereal objects along with our negative emotions.

I have space to mention only a few of the artists, but do go to see the work of all 35.

n The Oxford Brookes Fine Art Degree Show is on from Saturday, May 14- 21, 10am-8pm. There are guided exhibition tours on Sat 14 and Sun 15, 11am; Wed 18, 6pm; Sat 21, 11am. You can take the children and grandchildren for here there is no hands-off, rarefied atmosphere but one that will engage them and you.

The Richard Hamilton Building is on the former Pergamon Press site on Headington Hill. Some artists will be in the drama theatre close by. This show is large, so try to see it all and talk to the artists. Admission is free.

Should you miss the exhibition or want to see how these artists’ work compare with that of students from other schools of art, visit Free Range in the Truman Gallery, in the Old Brewery, in Brick Lane, London, in July, where many of them will be exhibiting.