Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Where? Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm 2013
In the last couple of days big news has hit the media. Big news about the BIG BANG! Scientists have detected evidence of the signature of gravitational waves generated in the nano-seconds after the BIG BANG. These waves support the theory of cosmological inflation. They also give strength to the theory that we do not exist in a Universe, but a Multiverse!
Here are a couple of articles about this momentous discovery for you to read:
And here's a link to a video showing the reaction of the physicist Andrei Linde, who first came up with the theory of the inflationary Universe, when he was told that recent data and observation confirmed his theory as likely. Physicist Rejoices As He Learns His Big Bang Theory Is Correct
In light of this recent announcement I thought I'd 'curate' an online exhibition of some of my paintings that have been inspired by cosmology, the BIG BANG and particularly ideas of a Multiverse:
I first uploaded  Where? [above] in a post titled Looking In The Rear Vision Mirror - Cosmically Speaking In this post I wrote about the rear vision mirror metaphorically as, 'The rear vision mirror presents us with the fascinating potential for keeping an eye on the past, as we live in the present and look to the future.' I also wrote,  'Where? implies a question about a physical position, but it can also ask about a position in time. The image could be the birth of the Universe, as if seen in a rear vision mirror, which is kind of what happens when cosmologists and astronomers examine images of newly discovered cosmic entities. Light reaching us now started its journey eons ago; the past licks at our heels, and sends light and shadows into the future. But, if we don't look out the windows or look into the rear vision mirror we might miss the light and be caught in the shadows.'
The Universe Draws You Out Like A Multidimensional Horizon [above] was inspired by many things but also Australian author Tim Winton's marvellous speech at the Royal Academy in London, November 2013. In my previous post about this painting I wrote, 'So...yes...perspective invites us to also consider horizons, both literal and metaphoric. Indeed, contemporary cosmological research is pushing our horizons in all directions. For example, the Universe maybe a that's a huge shift in horizon don't you think!'
After the release of the discovery of the signature for gravitational waves generated at the BIG BANG I'd say horizons have dramatically shifted. In fact, are there any really?
Dizzying Perspective Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm 2014
In my earlier post for Dizzying Perspective [above] I wrote, 'Dizzying Perspective is similar to an earlier painting which I called Where? This painting asks questions too, indeed its title is a question. It asks about time and space. Both paintings, I sense, move beyond their physical limits of size ie: 50 x 50 cm. There is something quite satisfying about painting an image of Universal vastness on a 50 x 50 cm canvas! A bit like the size differential of Dr. Who's marvellous Tardis.'
Surrendering Horizon Oil on linen 100 x 150 cm 2014

In Surrendering Horizon I have...surrendered the horizon! What does this mean? In my earlier post for Surrendering Horizon I wrote, 'In Surrendering Horizon I have 'torn' the horizon line away from the landscape. It now seems to draw the landscape towards new perspectives, as it enjoys relinquishing its tethered state. It almost playfully entices the landscape to reach out, and in this process, lifts its 'eyes' towards Universal [possibly even Multiversal] distance.'
Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm 2011

Now to my painting actually called Multiverse. I was so inspired by the idea of a Multiverse, that I had to paint the image that sprang into my head. I first read about the idea in Astrophysicist/Royal Astronomer Lord Martin Rees's fascinating book Just Six Numbers. I wrote this in my earlier post, 'The image that sprang to my mind is a tree with small portal-like 'windows' or 'eyes' dotted amongst the branches, each created by a kind of swirling or vortex action. These portals are more obvious from a distance, because they interrupt the pattern of the tree. Up close, they are still visible, but the interruption to the pattern is not as obvious. I suppose it is a bit like seeing a peacock proudly unfold its plumage, compared with looking at only one feather. The magnificence of the fanned plumage is breathtaking and patterns are discernible, yet one feather, still beautiful, only whispers.'

And here's a link to another Multiverse post called Multiverse Possibilities
The Beginning of Everything Oil on linen 90 x 180cm 2010
And, now to EVERYTHING! Yes, EVERYTHING. My painting The Beginning of Everything certainly took some persistence to paint, as you can see from the detailed line work. In my earlier post I wrote, 'I had this idea that I wanted to paint an mage which 'spoke' about the beginning, those nano seconds after the Big Bang. What would the 'landscape' be like? I wanted to paint an image which gave an impression of those nano instances, but also the presence of whatever it is/was that set it ALL in motion.'
I think The Beginning of Everything is a multifaceted painting! It gives an impression of expansion, inflation...waves even! I am very fond of this painting. to a Landscape Of Everything
Landscape of Everything Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013
In Landscape of Everything I imagined lots of things...well one could suggest 'everything'...including that the coloured balls are each a Universe! So the painting is another inspired by ideas of a Multiverse.
Other Worlds Ahoy! Oil on linen 80 x 90 cm 2013
In my previous post I wrote, 'Other Worlds, Ahoy! also continues my thoughts on untethering notions of landscape from being Earth-bound. In an age where cosmological research is discovering more and more about the close and far distances of the Universe, even suggesting a Multiverse, I believe we have a great opportunity to re-interpret 'landscape' with new perspectives. And...that this may provide new insights for all kinds of sustainability and even new ways of being.

With Other Worlds, Ahoy! a dominant landscape provides an horizon, yet is the viewer in this landscape or hovering above it? Is it Earth? Other planets...even Universes...worlds...hover too. Is the viewer on another of these? Or is the viewer in some kind of spacecraft madly negotiating a safe pathway to another Earth-like planet, a new 'home'? '
I am not a scientist and I am not a science illustrator. However, I am very interested in harnessing science in a way that communicates awe, wonder and imagination. I attempt to link this within an art historical framework eg: discussing notions of landscape.


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