Sunday, 31 January 2010

Critical Crocheted Chandrasekhar Limits

Two crochet adepts

Mystery picture
Loop- loop-loop, 1-2-3-, loop-loop-loop, 1-2-3-, loop-loop-loop, 1-2-3-, loop-loop-loop, 1-2-3-
The crochet goes on and on and on. I have made these two figures for a call for work from Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. An artist called Helen Frik is making an installation from toys, called `Difficult` and has called for assistance from the public. Glad to be of service. It is satisfying to be able to finish somthing for a specific purpose.
As`The Invisible Blanket`increases, I find I am consuming enough calorific mass to reach the required size of eight plus solar masses, and am indeed fast approaching my own version of the Chandrasekhar limit.
At a point in its long and bright life a small star will burn to a white dwarf, then a red dwarf and then old and tierd, depleated of fuel, fade gently away. It is not this simple , but I understand this much.
A bigger star, thats the required eight solar masses plus, will reach a point in the fusion of heavier elements at its core, where the density of the cores mass reaches the Chandrasekhar Limit. The gargantuan heavy star, reacts with the force of gravity around it, and becomes a huge supernova explosion. The collapsed and condensed remains of the star will either spend the rest of its life as an incredibly tiny and dense neutron star, or if the collapsing star matter is dense enough to defy the pull of gravity, continue to collapse inwards and become a singularity black hole. My favorite. Super massive blackness here I come. Ah, but it is still January, soon be spring.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Wheres My Crochet Gone?

Alberich puts on the Tarnhelm (hat of invisibility) ,and dissappears.
Illustration by Arthur Rackham.

The Shadow of an Invisible Blanket

More pictures on flickr
More invisible research shows that most ancient culltures had a legendary garment or headwear that renders the user invisible. Greek mythology tells of a cap used by Hades, and a version of a tale where Persius is given a similar cap by Athene.
What are the origins of mysterious sartorial invisibility? Where did this legend begin? I will investigate austrolasian, asian and african stories, older cultures may hold a clue.
The Welsh Mabinogion tells of Caswallanwn. He donned a cloak of invisibility and murdered Caradog ap Bran, one of the seven chieftans left to look after `Blighty` whilst the king was off in Ireland. I have been reading the Lady Charlotte Guest translation, but was ammused by William Owen Pughe (1795), who reffers to the Mabinogion as ` juvenille ammusements, being Welsh romances.`
The development of a modern equivalent is as thrilling as it is a little worrying. (We don`t all abide by `Star Fleet regulations)`. It adds a prophetic touch to the tales of old though.
R.I.P. Jean Simmonds. (Sarah Browne in Guys and Dolls).

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Gold Star Award

Dre Wapenaar dwellings

Thank you to the beautiful , intelligent and talented Quilt Architect for a Gold Star Blog Award. I shall in turn be passing it on. What a fabulous gift.

Thank you also for an amazing link.

The link takes you to the web site of Dre Wapenaar, a dutch designer of three dimensional sculpture to use as dwellings.
Developeing with a step to the left from Mario Merz and the fine art igloo , Dre Waapenaar has moved from mathematical and geometric sculpture, to investigate the practicle functionality of alternative `tent` spaces. These new works consider the relationships of the people that will use the spaces with the environment, and with each other.
I love the drop shaped tree tents. Hmmm. A little planning needed, and a larger crochet hook.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Artist Rime Time.

View the films here
On the subject of things frozen, some times collaborator and fellow artist Jacob Whittaker, made two frozen short films last year. Both organic and etherial , they create perfect visual methaphors for the micro and macro entity of our universe. Illustrating how things most minute appear to exist in replica thousands or millions of times larger. Nebulous, eerie and expansive. I would love to see them on huge screens , installed somewhere with a vast interior.
I saw a film installation in a magazine, with 2 large screens of equal surface area but one was oblong and one square. The room was an old fashioned ballroom with cornice and coving. Elegant and ideal. Maybe the room tempreture should be subtley low as well.
The two `Rime no Reason` films are part of a collection of works that examine the hidden intrinsic beauty of immediate surroundings. With individual sound tracks, they stand in a genre that spans between art film and music video, with hints of intense documentry. This is where, in my opinion Jakes worked has unique strength.The link will take you to flickr, where in turn there will be a link to the films and others like it on you tube.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Gelid Squeels!

Snow on the roof tops.

Snowy Hair, Mario Merz.
As the snow continues to cause chaos on our badly equipped little Island, I am snugly cwtched* up in Crows Nest Towers (the new top floor flat), thinking icy thoughts in the warmest possible way. Bird in the house, gave a mention to one of the greatest artists, Mario Merz. I wrote about his piece, `Tavola a Spirale`, in my dissertation, and have been fortunate enough to see pieces of his work in galleries all over Europe.
A man with Pythagorian concepts , Einsteinian hair and an legendary temper, Mario Merz beautiful and unque work explores divisions and groups. His concerns with the changes in modern and post modern society, and political issues are expressed in his work by the investigation of natural orders and the use of numerical systems. As one of his recurrent forms, he uses the igloo, to visually describe a basic increment of increase, and the shape it naturally forms when applied materially.

I lived for a while in 1992-93, in a make shift dwelling called a bender. This is the same dome shape as a igloo, but made from woven hazel or willow poles and covered with tarpaulin. It was winter at the time , but inside the bender was kept warm with a wood burner. Its ergonomic shape withstood all the wind and rain fall that a Welsh hill side could lash out . It was a very earthy and spiritual experience to live so near to the ground. The definition of inside and out side becoming blurred as one entwined with the other in a viscous layer of mud. Luckilly I have no recollection of snow that year.

Complete the chill-o-rific theme while listening to a C.D. of a band called Paavoharju. They are from iceland, and its called Laulu Laakson Kukista, which means `a song about flowers of the valley`. It`s very evocative of their native lands , with a contemporary interpretation of traditional sounds and instruments. Love it.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Jim Ospensen.

From a recent drawing

Photo of a real snow flake by Karla Jean Booth. How innocent and lovely is this divine little thing?

Branches in a blizzard

More photos on flickr
There is no denying it has been snowing in south west Wales.
I am not over excited by the prospect of frozen toes and falling over on the inevitable slush and ice, produced as a by product in a small town like Carmarthen. I do not like the cold.
Yesterday , despite intermittent blizzard conditions my dear friends Jake and Sam helped me to move to a delightful, modern and warm flat . It is only upstairs from where I was, but the stairs are outside and metal. We did it . Thanks soooo much ! Must say that Kathryn helped the day before in the cold and dark. Thank you to you to! I am inspired by my new abode.
Snow flakes are a fascinating organic example of Koch`s triangle. , explaining the infinte nature of the perimeter of any object through the behaviour of fractal. Just like the `How long is a piece of string?` question.
Actually, the thought of a snowflake with a never ending edge, which by definition would have an infinitely huge interior, is my idea of a icy nightmare. Brrrrrr.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Lunar, Luna, Loon.

Small World on the streets

Toasting a special event.

Click here to listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing Blue Moon.

The Blue Moon on new years eve couldn`t have been a more welcome and auspicious occaision . It can only mean good and possitive things. A bigger, brighter, fuller and more eventful 2010.

We toasted the moon and the new year with an appropriately named cocktail.

The night after, I was out as Jakes assistant , filming the splendid Small World Theatre as they had a public lantern parade through the town of Cardigan , West Wales. We headed down to the river, and then floated the pretty paper lights off downstream. Despite the snow, people turned out, sung and had a lovely time. There will probably be a film to see on You tube, so keep your eyes open.
The people that run small world Bill and Ann are fantastic people. They have been all over the world communicating and sharing with their tallents. They bring together people in the area, and put on the most entertaining theatrical events. Good luck to them for the new year.