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Creativity & Curiosity

We had a wonderful day listening to presentations from Astronomers and Space Researchers at the Institute of astronomy in Cambridge. The material they presented us with was rich, varied and full of avenues to pursue.

I have very much enjoyed the recent interactions at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Our presentations of artwork were received with warmth and enthusiasm and we were invited back for a fascinating day of talks by Ph D and post-doc research students. Topics ranged from galaxy formation to theoretical astrophysics. Truly mind-expanding. I was particularly excited by:

* The 'filamentary structure' of the cosmic web and descriptions of galaxy formation

* An X-ray image of an exploding supernova revealing the blast wave

* Simulation and explanation of the gradual merging of two Black Holes

* The chemistry of star formation

My work in the studio is an on-going response and I have begun around twenty mixed media works on paper and several larger canvases are in progress. Dark Fusion is an example of a smaller scale painting relating to a synthesis of new ideas.

The first Iron Pour took place at Corgam on June 18th. These pieces are working with many different materials onto which molten iron is poured to see the effects of the red hot iron on them. Some melt, some retain their integrity, even though their melting points are way below that of iron. I am beginning to explore the effects of heat and the mix of different materials which are found in outer space; as well as here on earth.

I am exploring the idea of different formations with the blown glass. I intend to explore the light in which these formations can be viewed and am investigating infra red and UV lighting. I am particularly keen to work with ideas around dark matter and the inferences of 'empty' spaces existing beyond what is visible to us.

 

 Following on from fascinating and enlightening conversations with Prof. Martin Barstow, Prof Nial Tanvir and Prof Mark Simms, a myriad of possibilities beckon... reflections on compression and explosion, and the "'cooking pot of all the elements" have encouraged me to book more sessions at the glass blowing facility working with artist Graeme Hawes. Here I am keen to explore different surfaces, adding in different elements to the surface of the glass globes we have already been blowing. I would like to look at adding in sulphur (hoping for some glorious yellow),Iron Oxide ( Reds.)  Silver Nitrate has also been suggested... I want to also explore the rotation of the gathered glass  during the blowing process, pushing forms and colours into a sense of order.

I am thinking around the possibilities in the 'String Theory,' the existence of different dimensions... where small becomes large and a squeeze in one dimension becomes a bulge in another... or so I currently understand...

 

The idea of history and time wrapping around in every direction we gaze fascinates me, and that all actions embed this and can therefore be traced back to a single point of origin. My large puncture piece plays with this, a repeated action radiating outwards that can be viewed from both sides...in that a puncture mark pushed in is also an exit mark when viewed from the other side of the sheet of paper. I would like to explore this altering of perception further.
Statements around the DNA of a star... tracing the history of a galaxy...simulations of early experience intrigue and invite further exploration.

"We are working within the realms of abstraction"  Prof Nial Tanvir
"The Universe is full of very beautiful things" Prof Mark Simms

 

 

 

Creativity & Curiosity 

Conversations between artists and astronomers
 
Alison Lochhead, April 2016
www.alisonlochhead.co.uk
The metals found on earth are also in outer space. I want to start to explore the similarities and differences and how metals and other materials, are indentified on other planets and their reactions to heat. Part of my work involves exposing the inner elements of materials through heat; melting, exploding, transforming. Space is constantly changing through explosions, impacts, changing forms and material which change from solid to gas to a huge range of 'being' which I do not yet begin to understand. It is an unknown to me and I am really looking forward to trying to begin to understand a tiny bit of it. I chose some materials which are also known in space; iron, different rocks, silica, oxides; and put them in together in the kiln. This is a photo of one part of one of the pieces. They are just a beginning and the work will change beyond this recognition, but all the materials as a result of the heat changed, fused, melted together, pulled apart, and some spontaneously exploded days after coming out of the kiln. Exciting.  My next move is to talk to researchers working with metals in space and see how they look at them and identify them and react to them. How the different materials react to each other and if this is the same or different to here and what may be locked within them.
 
Ione Parkin, April 2016
www.ioneparkin.co.uk
I thoroughly enjoyed the recent conversations with Professor Martin Barstow, Professor Niall Tanvir andProfessor Mark Simms at the University of Leicester – stimulating exchanges which are fuelling the development of my creative ideas.  
Concepts about the origins of the Universe – "a plasma of matter and anti-matter annihilated one another and produced light" – are truly mind-altering.  Looking at images of planetary surfaces or supernovae I am increasingly intrigued by how the raw beauty that we see in astronomical entities can be produced by such violent and extreme processes.  How can I explore the parallels here within my own creative processes and how will these new understandings reveal themselves in my work?  The insights I am gaining through the dialogue and exposure to scientific thought are already becoming integrated into my work and I am excited by this journey.
I am continually seeking within my work – both the larger-scale canvases and the mixed media works on paper – to create a specific blend of materiality and atmospherics.   My current activity in the studio is focused on experimental approaches, using crackle glazes, powdered pigments, graphite and pearlescent paints, which will lead towards mixed media works on paper larger than I have previously undertaken.  
"From wonder into wonder existence opens..." – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching.
 
Gillian McFarland, April 2016
gillianadair.co.uk
Following on from fascinating and enlightening conversations with Prof. Martin Barstow, Prof Nial Tanvir and Prof Mark Simms, a myriad of possibilities beckon... reflections on compression and explosion, and the "'cooking pot of all the elements" have encouraged me to book more sessions at the glass blowing facility working with artist Graeme Hawes. Here I am keen to explore different surfaces, adding in different elements to the surface of the glass globes we have already been blowing. I would like to look at adding in sulphur (hoping for some glorious yellow),Iron Oxide ( Reds.)  Silver Nitrate has also been suggested... I want to also explore the rotation of the gathered glass  during the blowing process, pushing forms and colours into a sense of order.

I am thinking around the possibilities in the 'String Theory,' the existence of different dimensions... where small becomes large and a squeeze in one dimension becomes a bulge in another... or so I currently understand...

The idea of history and time wrapping around in every direction we gaze fascinates me, and that all actions embed this and can therefore be traced back to a single point of origin. My large puncture piece plays with this, a repeated action radiating outwards that can be viewed from both sides...in that a puncture mark pushed in is also an exit mark when viewed from the other side of the sheet of paper. I would like to explore this altering of perception further.
Statements around the DNA of a star... tracing the history of a galaxy...simulations of early experience intrigue and invite further exploration.

"We are working within the realms of abstraction"  Prof Nial Tanvir
"The Universe is full of very beautiful things" Prof Mark Simms
 
 
 
 
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Creativity and Curiosity