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Fusing art and science together with the return of ‘The Art of Fusion’.

Fusion – the joining together of atomic nuclei to produce energy – is the process that powers the Sun and stars, ultimately giving life to all living things on Earth. UKAEA scientists and engineers are developing fusion energy as a low-carbon source of electricity for a sustainable planet.

UKAEA’s annual art competition offers an opportunity for people to get their creative juices flowing, and this year, gives you an even wider scope of resources to choose from. Instead of buying brand new paints, pens, and pencils – why not re-use old ones to make your artwork truly sustainable!

Capturing the Stars - Samantha Hill, 2020 entry

Capturing the Stars – Samantha Hill, 2020 entry

This year’s Art of Fusion competition shifts its focus to sustainability. One day fusion will be a sustainable energy source on Earth creating a better future for our planet, but what does art inspired by fusion created with sustainability in mind, look like? Perhaps it will be reflected in the subject matter or created using recycled or up-cycled materials!

The competition’s winning entrants and runners-up will receive an invitation to a dedicated tour at our site based at Culham Science Centre in South Oxfordshire, which will include an introductory talk about fusion energy and a tour of the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion machine, which UKAEA hosts at Culham for scientists from around Europe. Their entries will also be displayed at a local Oxfordshire gallery towards the end of 2021, and the winners will feature on our website, and have their entries turned into postcards which UKAEA will use to promote fusion energy at events and festivals.

Glow – Vanessa McKay, 2020 winner 18+ category

Glow – Vanessa McKay, 2020 winner 18+ category

Organiser Ella Ashdown explained: “Last year’s competition proved just how much artistic inspiration can be found in science, so developing the competition to incorporate the theme of sustainability felt natural!

“Fusion is one of the most promising options for generating the sustainable energy the world badly needs, and fusion power plants of the future will be self-sustaining machines. So, we can’t wait to see what sustainable artwork inspired by fusion energy looks like!”

The competition is open only to residents of the UK, as participants will need to be able to travel to our Oxfordshire site if they are chosen as a runner-up or winner. The Art of Fusion opens on Wednesday 22nd July and closes on Thursday 16th September. Runners-up and winners will be contacted by email. To enter the competition, see the box below for instructions.

The Art of Fusion entry details:

To enter the competition, please send a photo (JPG or PNG) of your artwork to, along with answers to the questions below.

The judges will view your entries on a screen, so please ensure that your photo makes your artwork look its best. Photograph your artwork in strong light, ideally daylight, and ensure the photograph is in focus by perhaps resting your camera on something to keep it very still. You should also try to ensure your artwork fills as much of the photograph as possible so we can see it in greater detail.

  • What is your full name?
  • We will pick winners from three age categories. What age category are you entering? (7 – 12 years, 13 – 17 years, 18 years and over)
  • Where are you entering from?
  • What is the title of your artwork? (If your piece is untitled, please enter ‘Untitled’)
  • What medium did you use to create your artwork? (e.g. Painting, Drawing, Textiles, Photography, Digital artwork, Printing, Collage)
  • What makes your artwork ‘sustainable’ and why did you choose to enter the competition?

General Data Protection Regulation:
All information that we hold concerning you as an individual (e.g. your name and contact details) will be held and processed by the organisation strictly in accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation. The data will be used by the organisation, only in relation to your entry to The Art of Fusion. We will not supply your name and contact details to any third party except if we are required to do so by operation of the law.

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