Friday, 14 March 2014

New series underway!

I have just finished the first phase in my new series of pieces entitled Evolution. I am planning to work my way through all aspects of this theme from the Big Bang through to the present time so it should keep me quiet for a while! All pieces will be mounted on 24" x 24" canvasses and there will be either 21 or 24 in total - all triptychs.

So here is the first triptych 'Cosmic Evolution' - in the words of Julie Andrews, 'let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...' I've been reading a lot lately about Astrophysics and watching all those nerdy spacey programmes on TV (love 'em) and three aspects of cosmology grabbed me. The first is Dark Matter (and Energy) the realisation that all the stuff we can detect, measure and study in the known universe accounts for only around 5% of what there actually is  - quite mindblowing! So for my piece, I dusted off my rudimentary knowledge about pie being squared (!) and calculated the area of my 3 circles to represent 5% of the total quilt. The rest is the unknown Dark stuff, rendered in various textile art techniques and embellished with lots of hand stitching to make the darkness of it really textural and interesting.
Cosmic Evolution I - Dark Matter
The second quilt is Redshift representing  the Doppler Effect whereby sound, or light in this case, shifts depending on whether the object is moving away from or towards the observer - the classic neeeeee-um of a racing car as it passes. In the case of light, an object moving away stretches the light waves to the red end of the spectrum. This is one way in which the fact that the universe is expanding was proven. I used flip and stitch and raw edge techniques.
Cosmic Evolution II - Redshift

The final quilt in this triptych is my favourite! It shows part of the Cosmic Microwave Background, light left over from the Big Bang that is still 'visible' in the sky - at least it would be if we could see microwaves! A false colour image is usually rendered in these colours to show the hotter and colder spots. Heat and cold in this case are relative, it is somewhere in the region of -270 deg Celsius. It was discovered the year I was born quite by chance by two chaps who weren't looking for it and didn't know what it was when they found it but got the Nobel Prize anyway! This quilt is made largely of fabric mosaic with some of my favourite 'fabric bubbles' for texture and lots of fabric confetti held in place with angelina fibre and masses of tiny zig zag stitching. In real life it's really sparkly.
Cosmic Evolution III - First Light
The next triptych is Stellar Evolution and I've just started on a star-forming region of space working with an image from the Hubble Space Telescope in rusts and turquoises. The universe is really beautiful! k3n x

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