Science was artist Kali van der Merwe’s first love, but she was put off by the idea of wearing a white lab coat, and this aversion pushed her in the direction of the arts. Her love of science, however, particularly in relation to the natural world, remains intact and underpins all her artistic output. There is a popular misconception that science and the art are, at best, uncomfortable bedfellows and, at worst, occupy separate, sealed silos. However, master painter and polymath Leonardo da Vinci is considered to be the first western scientist.

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