Monday, 26 July 2010

Cerbyd, an In-Tents Journey (Sorry!)

( I`m so sick of Chinese spam comments.)
Following a non equilibrium growth process, I`ve temporarily moved my blog to another site. To see it click ,Here.
Science- Crochet may continue here, but maybe not.
As the Portugese say,
` Talvez, Talvez nau. Quem sabe?` - ` Maybe , Maybe not , who knows?`

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Hyperspherical Hyperbolical Hype


This photo is one of a series of romantic and beautiful studies by"Enid " on flickr. The series carefully and intellegently investigates domestic objects, as seen through the lens of a microscope. The concept and results reminded me of bits of my own investigation (great minds think alike ...) and brought to mind the quote from Blaise Pascal, `Nature is an infinite sphere of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere`.

He has many recorded quotes, i particularly liked `Meeting you was fate. Becoming your friend was a choice, falling in love with you I had no control over.`

Circling something in black, makes an interesting visual captive cage . Somehow, the boundaries don`t decrease or detract from the effect of the circles contents, illustrating the Pascal quote. Although it gives limitations within the boundaries, to the immediate dimensions of the image. More More circular work Here. I find circular shapes enchanting . Smooth, graceful ,perfect, optimistic, mysterious, silent, generous . There is a completeness and entity about the shape .

The simple circle is drawn in two dimensions, one of the first geometric shapes we understand as infants. Three dimensions and we have the glorious bouncing sphere. Animated and planetary. Above that in four or more dimensions the shape is called a hypersphere. As the dimensions in mathematical terms increase, my understanding decreases. Except the understanding of hyperbolic crochet that increases on a non Euclidean plane, in multi dimensions. The two dimensional circle and three dimensional sphere operate efficiently within the boundaries of Newtonian mechanics. To investigate the realms of the sphere within the supergalactic or subatomic, it becomes necessary to apply the laws of quantum, and to consider the application of further dimensions. Click the bar at the bottom to see a film.

Monday, 21 June 2010

... To Make Our Dreams Come True

Happy Solstice everyone. Lets have a long, hot, happy and joy filled summer, shall we?

The great power that opperates the balance scales has been very kind to me today. I received a phone call this morning offering me a place on a project I really wanted to be involved with.
Its called Cerbyd, which is Welsh for bus.
The plan is this... ten artists on a bus, zig zagging around Wales . We will be stopping at a different location every day, including amoungst others, meeting steam railway enthusiasts, Appalation dancers, a group of George Formby enthusiasts, the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, the National Eisteddfod and , best of all ,The Institue of Physics, Wales.
Oh my word, real scientists. YYYYYIIIIIIPPPPPEEEEEEEE. Real, live, in the flesh scientists. Heheheheheheheheh!!!!
The idea is to inspire new projects and possible collaborations between artists from different parts of Wales, and to introduce artists to other strange obsessive groups of people. Well, the second bit may not be high on the list, but its an interesting aspect of the project.
I spent many years living in trucks and buses, travelling around England and Europe. Its a nice moment of `past-meeting-the-future-glitch-in-linear-time` for me.
Just like Cliff Richard and Una Stubbs. Click here for a sing song.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Seems Like a Little Bit of History Repeating...

John Cale4, originally uploaded by birdlouise.

The Queens official birthday today. Have a nice one your Maj. In her honours list we have two well deserved awards.

First Professor Brian Cox- (super fox). If science is the new religion, Coxy is our begotten saviour, big time. Handsome, genius and media omnipresent. He received an OBE. He should be made king. Of the world, no, the Universe. He has done more to advance the public education in science matters than anything else ever. He has wonderful clarity of thought and a loyalty to his craft that is admirable. And he is breath- stoppingly gorgeous.

Also an MBE for the legend that is John Cale. The man behind the viola drone and most of the arranging on the Velvet Underground`s seminal album. Sometimes referred to as the `Banana`album. Real life living legend, experimental musician and superstar, he caused much opinion and conversation with his installation ` Dark Days`, in the Welsh pavilion ,at the Venice Biennale last year. His biography `Whats Welsh for Zen?` was an astonishing read.

Music and science. One and the same thing, inextricably linked. Scales, systems, maths and movement. The legend that was, or may have been, the pre-Socratic mystic and scientist, Pythagoras, had many beautiful theories about the links between what was then perceived as the Cosmos, and the mathematics that described music and the motions of planetary ellipses. After a vision from the God Thoth, he conceived `The Harmony of the Spheres`.

Johannes Kepler's 1619 treatise , `Harmonica Mundi `,was inspired by Pythagoras writings, you can hear a contenporary musical interpretation , click the link.

Kepler was one of the greatest mathematicians of that time. He wrote `Eponymous Laws for planetary motion `, which in turn informed (Sir) Issac Newtons laws on gravitational force.

So, a job traditionally filled by legends , is now safely being filled by my favorite public science figure. (Note I didn't use the term celebrity). Just so happens that Professor Brian Cox was also a pop star, before he became a scientist for a living.

The links between art and science.

I would love to discuss the origins of the universe with John Cale.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Nemesis Rising

More tears for the dead. She was 98, and died of a heart attack. Watch out angels, Nemesis is on her way. Of course I never met her, but we all new her. She was all of us. She new us.
Thank you Louise, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Basic Systemic Mathematical Prosesses

Richard Sweeney, check his paper work.

Creating mass from a basic mathematical system

Division of the Euclidean plain.

In the inevitable Welsh rain, The Oriel Myrddin gallery, Carmarthen, in wet south west damp Wales, carried on regardless and held an outdoor beach party to celebrate the opening of the current exhibition.

Because every one loves the gallery, and it is the best place ever to work, we had fun. But, even though I appreciate the chaotic principles behind the weather, and despite the application for divine intervention , it could have not rained for just one more day.

Mary our genius education officer and most wonderful person made some origami boats . I love the mathematics behind childhood craft practices. Division and multiplication with out even considering the Euclidean plain. Paper folding , perfect division. An every day occurrence, performed without premeditation by people every where. Ancient spiritual art as well. I think its this kind of banal but essential ritual that keeps our thought processes as alert and any deep study. Playing is essential even for the very grown up.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Druid`s Cord, Saint Asaph`s Loop

A measurement of spacetime

For more `Druid`s Cord Saint Asaph`s Loop` Flickr pictures click. here

For short documentary films about past installations click here
In its fullest form,the installation is a mixed media installation with performance.

I was very pleased to be selected for the Bath Arts Fringe exhibition. It will be my first show out side of Wales. Initially, I was to have a large dark space for one of my installations that have a DVD projection. Sadly, this was not to be, and after weeks of curatorial indecision and suspense - through no fault of the lovely curator Fiona Cassidy, I was allocated a space in a small room with six other artists. Hence the mightily pared down version of Druid`s Cord.

It works well in its condensed form. The spiritual and physical relationship between the looped DVD , and the eleven feet of crocheted fishing line is still evident. Although it has lost the feeling of envelopement and entity.

There is a moment in the DVD that I find particularly interesting. The screen is empty of the mechanical ,vertiginous image. The lens of the camera reacts with the bright sun on the very clear blue sky, and causes a lens flare that is almost off the top of the screen. That moment, to me , suggests a brief spiritual epiphany that is just within the reach of human endeavour. A tiny glimpse of the pure and ecstatic nature of enlightenment.
Sometimes when I am crocheting and thinking , I experience that feeling... An excitment that cannot be explained or planned. The briefest flicker, a gargantuan vision in a tiny moment. Then it dissappears. I consider myself at these times, very blessed.
On the DVD it lasts only a moment, and then the repetition begins to loop again.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Isotropic Lou-niverse

Recovering slowly from from my sojourn into a personal deep, dark ,black hole, my darling friend Helen suggested a bit of occupational therapy to cheer me up. We spent two blissful days in the sunshine making felt. The un-spun wool, came from the flock of organic no kill sheep that she and her partner keep. (They don't kill the sheep, that is, not the sheep with murderous tendencies, suppressed from killing other things).
Looking most satisfied at the finished pieces, I noticed that the felt had a myriad tiny pieces of countryside shrunken into the fibres. This is unavoidable when working in a field, with a strange assortment of cobbled together hippy equipment. The pieces couldn't be seen at a distance, but were evenly spread and uniform on close inspection. I couldn`t have arranged them as delicately myself.
I looked up at the beautifully tended market garden surrounding us and it reminded me of a big luscious blanket of green. Smooth from a distance, but full of furrows , plants, stones and insects. All in turn made of further smaller and smaller matter.
The shape of the universe itself is homogenous like this. Referred to as the Isotropic nature of our universe. In the night sky, the stars cluster. Further out into space, the spiral arms of our galaxy have denser` foamy clusters`, and areas that appear empty. But over all, matter is evenly distributed through out the universe. Space is smooth, the inseparable concept of space time perfect. No matter where you stand, or which way you look .
I have been reading about Cosmic texture and cosmic string. The latter of these is a one dimensional topological defecr, a crack or crease, in the fabric of space time . How beautiful is that ?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Home Play Cosmolology.

`Direct your eye sight inward, and you`ll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be
Expert in home- cosmography`
Henry D. Thoreau
Toys are inspirational. They have provided a universal point of recognition in more that one of my projects. A toy can act on the collective consciousness of many people, and acts as a public common denominator.
Even better , toys with a religious theme. Joy to find the Handy Bendy Gandhi finger puppet at the Saatchi gallery. Especially with the absorbent `Christ in a Glass` festering in the kitchen.
Although very amusing, these toys are indications of a strange reversal in the attitude to religious ritual. In some respects, to the faithful ,it could be sacrilegious, to make fun of or belittle those deities held by some in high esteem. Beware of judgement from on high. But beware there is another twist...
Those that hail science as the new religion, with the delicious proff. Brian Cox as the new science saviour, would need to examine the moral integrity behind many children's toys based on science research. Oh, thats different, those toys would be classed as educational.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Only So Much Matter...

`Dead Dad`, Ron Mueck 1996-97

Rest in Peace William Bird , Died 1st May 2010. Aged 79.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Great Hermetic Jelly Fish!

The `grow your own brain` photos I have uploaded on flikr reminded me of an article in the New Scientist magazine, from 2008. The amazing anatomically correct brain was crochet by Karen Norberg in 2006. Truly a master piece and a work of genius.

The picture of a jelly fish, a box jelly fish, is from 2008 as well. Dozens were washed up on the beach at Llanstefan . It looked like a tragic and massive failed invasion .For jelly fish films click
I haven`t look at them for years, they are quite sad.
The obvious visual similarities between the jelly fish and the brain are interesting. I constantly record instances of repetition and interconnection, which I find on a daily basis . There are infinite similarities found in the micro and macro circumstances of our universe. I am often reminded of the First line on the `Emerald Tablet` , a coded inscription that is used in Hermeticisim.

`As above below`...

The Universe is the same as God, God the same as man, man the same as the cell , the cell the same as the atom.

I have used the quote many times before , and now I know where it originates.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Chaos and Cake , Theory #1. Research Beginning.



`I say unto you a man must have chaos yet within him to be able to give birth to a dancing star: I say unto you ye have chaos yet within you.
Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more embroils the fray
By which he reigns: next him high arbiter
Chance governs all.
Here in the UK the Sky's are swimming pool clear and cerulean blue. Empty of the invasive but incredible invention of the airplane, due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Inverse `Butterfly Effect` -ed into good weather! Amazing. No contrails and no new clouds, the skies are silent. (Actually, for the first time in days we have clouds today.)
No imports or exports either. Makes you think about how as a nation we cannot feed ourselves. We need the world. The British public nearly starved to death during the second world war. I like the idea of unity, positive and optimistic .
On the subject of chaotic probability, related to the weather only by locality and theories of interconnection (but that's good enough), I was on my way home, under those blue skies, from an afternoon shift with `Postman Pat`, at the Lyric Theatre, when I found a party.
It was International Record Store Day, and our most exquisite independent local hang out was having a bit of a celebration. Fantastic, music, dancing and cake! All the best.
I asked the fascinating search engine Wolfram/ Alpha` What is the probability of finding a party on the way home from work?` The computer said `Wolfram/Alpha isn`t sure how to compute an answer from your input`. Then gave me option to follow leads to probability or movies- `The way Home`. Chaos in action.
I am still crocheting the Invisible Blanket.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Buffalo Boys Goes Round the outside...

Malcom Maclaren R.I.P or should I say` bollox, **** off mate`.
I grew up in South London. At 17 in 1977 I had just left school , and then... PUNK.
The man that invented the most influencial youth cult of all time. And some great fashion and music too.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Scientist and Artist and Pulsar

Pulsar Hand Nebular

James Turrell at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I have sat in here. Wonderfull.
Pulsar Diagram

`Our nice simple picture is getting messier and messier and messier...`
`Nothing is static, nothing is final...`
The prize winning scientist Jocelyn Bell was a brilliant student. In 1967 she was the first ever scientist to discover the fast, regular radiation emissions from pulsating electromagnetic stars, nicknamed by a journalist as Pulsars. Controversially,her university lecturer received the Nobel prize for the discovery.
Pulsars are amazing and charismatic bodies. Very small, planet sized and incredibly dense,
with enormous magnetic fields.
Pulsars occur one or two stages before a star could become a black hole at the end of its twinkling life. The pulses are caused by brief flashes of the radiation emitted from the Pulsars poles, dectected from the earth as it spins on its axis at incredible speeds.
Jocelyns faith as a Quaker is insically linked to her belief in the infinite nature of the universe, and her faith in the aspects of science that encourage understanding , rather that seeing it as a race for the truth`.
Another of my favorite artists is James Turrell. He to is a practicing Quaker. Quakerism is a faith , a religion without doctrine or Dogma, that teaches truth only in terms of self realisation and understanding .
I have been lucky enough to experience James Turrells work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and at an exhibition in London. He uses light as a medium to explore spirituality and entity. His work transcends the boundaries of form. It is pure and magnanimous. Full of the conviction of his faith.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Mass and The Pull of Anthropomorphic Gravity

Anthony Gormley, Critical Mass.

Helen Frik, Higher Up Where to.

Anthony Gormley, Field for the British Isles

Helen Frik is a British born artist who has an installation at Chapter Arts Centre , Cardiff.
Part of the installation - titled `Higher up, Where to`, has been made by volunteers from the public (including me). The call was for weird and wonderful toys, and that is what she got. Absolutely fabulous ,wondrous, beautifulugly, loveliness.
Having missed the private view, we made the journey on Saturday night.When we walked through to the last room ,there was just us and the installation- THEM. Of course, we had interrupted their secret revelries.
Using a contemporary analogy, the characters gave off a post party `chill out` atmosphere. Collected in small relaxed and intimate (some of the extremely intimate) groups, there was in some case unbridled affection and unity. The next unchoreographed move for us humans, was to join the collective on the floor, for comment and conversation.
Whilst crawling in amongst my new the freaky friends, Anthony Gormleys `Field for the British Isles` came to mind. His work won the Turner prize in 1994. What an antitheses to his internal, still and controlled display of terracotta figures. The 40,000 figures in the `Fields` were made by many, many different people , but with stringent regulations about features and form.
I felt that Helen Frinks piece failed to communicated the artists original concept. Even the `Black Guardians` situated at the foot of the `Light` had conceded and sat down.
There was no collective ominous pull towards the light. Rather a placid and accepting camp of the uniqueness found in humanity. Here are pictures on flickr.
The comparisson between the two artists installations of human based form are an interesting illustration of a shift in cultural paradigm.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Equinox at the Gallery

Saskia and her hand made trinkets.

Some of the staff

My crocheted cakes

More pictures of the Oriel Myrddin Garden Party here
I feel very fortunate to be able to work in the Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen. Its a lovely old building that used to be an art school, we sometimes get stories of antics from the towns older residents , about things that happened when they were art school students. We are also very lucky to have a super relationship with our regulars , who turn up for openings and workshops on a regular basis. Thank you!
To celebrate the "Reap and Sew" spring exhibition, the gallery had a garden party.
It was a great success, with tea cakes and bunting, things for sale and things to make. It was a pleasure to go to work.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Perspective Halts Infinity

Deep new joy

This is a picture of french writer and philosopher (and of course obsesser, if there is such a word),
Geogre Perec. I am reading with mixed emotions, `Species of Spaces and other Pieces`. The book is full of lists , observations and comment. His style is unique, his attitude is expansive, in the most compact of instances. Most of it written with humour and delight in the every day. But as with all brilliance, there is a tinge of pathos and maudlin in the lonely, insular and obsessive. An intangible coldness seems to pervade his french magnanimity. A symptom of a tragic childhood, his writing is beautiful, but where is his joy?
`Since 1984, small planet no.2817 (1982UJ) has borne the name of George Perec`.
Above the picture of George Perec, is my new joy. My dear friend Bunwen ( really Sarah), bought me a very early birthday present, a glockenspiel. I have wanted one for as long as I can remember.
I am already quite adept at `plink- a -plonk meditative` style, which I find calming, but I`m not sure if thats a universal effect, and have got the vocal intro. to Gary Numans `Cars` off pat , even using 2 beaters. Need some sheet music now and I can begin rehearsing.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Inevitable Escallating to an Unknown Point.

Topological Chair

Crochet Chaos

Crochet Graffitti

Spring equinox brought about some sad changes in my life. I feel uninspired by them, really not very spring like at all . But the weather does not help, there you are then- as they say in Wales.
I have long ogled the crochet Lorenz Manifold , made by Hinke Osinge, that is well documented on the Internet.
Lorenz, the mathematician that the piece is named after was the originator of Chaos Theory, and the Butterfly Effect.
Chaos theory is interesting. Nothing to do with a state of perpetual uncontrolled disorganisation. `They` have, as always, the obligatory equations to describe the instigation of ever expanding systems, (visually expressed as fractals), that describe chaotic states. But have no way of predicting accurately the exact outcome of the movement, how it began, or where it will end. There is no complete control or prediction of a chaotic state.
The weather was Lorenz special scientific area. He used chaos theory to describe weather systems , and applied them with some success to the arcane art of weather prediction. As a result we know what the weather is supposed to do. Or at least a probable outcome as a result of certain situations.
It made me think of the earth quake that `Quilt Architect` felt on the little island King Salmon. That earth quake, butterfly effect-ed off to Haiti a couple of weeks later, and showed us all just how chaotic weather systems can be. I wonder who flapped their crochet.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Salvation and Visibility

Out and about in the West Wales countryside for a change. This time for a meeting at New Mill, Drefelin. I showed `Iota Island` at an exhibition at the mill , called `Rhod` last year. Dave Shepherd - (Image Salvage and Reclamation), was one of the other featured artists at the show. He too has revisited the mill, in fact it seems he never left! His installation has been there ever since, moved around in various forms, a bit like a conceptual squatter. I took some time to study the re-installed piece.

I found the immediacy of the piece quite striking. The new proximity of the materials animated the individuality of each `bin` and gave it all a sense of unity and purpose. The arrangement had elements of domesticity and urbanity, with a pensive, tense feeling.

Thinking- in relation to a piece I will be showing there later this year, it seemed definate and so visible.
Nature it seems, is the popular name
For milliards and milliards and milliards
Of particles playing their infinite game
Of billiards and billiards and billiards.
Piet Hein (1966)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Darker Dimensions

Here is a link to` Bird In The House` blog, that's her above, my good friend Kathryn Campbell.

She is a special talent with a vision that magically transcends cultural boundaries , using a lightness of touch over an uneasy darkness in spirit. Her work is loaded with symbolism referencing her own domestic past, tangled with many world religions and belief systems. Kathryn's work silently emits her own banshee howl. Its wonderful stuff of secrets and spells.
We went to the opening of her show in a lovely retro shop come exhibition space called `Milkwood Gallery`, in the Roath area of Cardiff. Of course, I forgot my camera, so this one picture was taken on Kath's own camera. There are more pictures on Kathryn's own blog. Just follow the link above.
While we were there , I was given the T.Rex album by one of the gallery owners. What a top generous present. Many thanks ! Marc Bolan was the singer and front man of T.Rex, he was a first pop idol love. I lived a mile down the road , in London ,from the tree where he was killed in 1977. I still visit the place every time I`m in London . It`s an official memorial site now, filled with tributes and fan paraphernalia.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Auricula Hysteria

The Old Auricula Theatre, or what was.

Auricula or Primula

The Auricula Theatre at Calke Abbey.

Click for three dimensional Mandelbrot fractals called Mandelbulb, here. (Thanks to Sam Knight for the link)
On a research and reconnaissance mission with Fibre Art Wales, at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, we were taken to the Walled Garden. There we were shown the site that once was the old Auricula Theatre.
Apparently, in olden days when ladies of a gentler disposition were taken with a fit of the vapours or shocked by the appearance of an untoward table leg, they were directed to sit and contemplate the rows of Primula (Auricula) flowers in the Auricula Theatre to calm and steady ones nerves.
The flowers have striking, bold and velvety colours , which appear in concentric rings around each flower head which is made of a multiple of blooms. They appear to me to be quite fractal in design, and perhaps en masse quite hypnotic . They are reported to have been of a calming nature to the ladies of those times.
I was amused and inspired by the tale of flowers comforting the nervy. It also brought to mind the whole language of flowers fashion which was extremely popular in Victorian times.
But, even more interesting is the Pythagorean mathematical healing properties of the repetition and colour in nature.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Apply The Method of the Theoretical Scientist.

`Imagination is more important that knowledge. For knowledge is is limited to all we know now and understand, while imagination embraces he entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.`
Albert Einstein
Saturday was the opening of the Pembrokeshire open at the Torch Theatre Milford Haven.
I was lucky enough to have the Iota chosen as part of the show. It took two days to install., Many millions of billions of thanks to Jake , for dropping everything at a moments notice to help with installation. His calm and logical systems over rode my moments of relatively controlled hysteria and we got most of it done on the first day. See his beautiful photos and some of mine on flickr here
I find peoples reactions interesting when confronted with an installation in the same vicinity as more traditional two and three dimensional work. Not only are they mystified by the appearance of the piece, but by the science theory behind it. Dan Shaw, the Torch Theatre manager looked up and said...`it`s like being in the forest.` Fabulous. I hope there will be a review of the show on the web site soon.
Interesting to see the piece in a urban environment. The area was light and lit, with natural light wells, all of which interact with the piece. Its a bit of a shame about what the staples have done to the gallery walls, but a bit of filler will see it right after the event! Steep parabolic trajectory on that learning curve.
HEY... the Large Hadron Collider was switched back on early this morning. HURRAH!