artist blog

Portal to a Parallel Universe


















WATERCOLOUR WITH WORMHOLE

2021


That fleeting moment of absolute tranquillity when sliding between parallel universes suddenly seems not only possible but an entirely normal thing to do.


32cm x 24cm x 6cm

Hand built fine silver ornament with patina, sealed against tarnishing; mounted on flotsam stainless steel pan, embellished with delicate calcification left by departed marine organisms threatened by global warming.



A corroded baking pan or a framework for a portal to another dimension? Intricate cutouts, lacy patterns and

evocative scrape marks spoke to a destiny far more than

the pile of beach junk I found it on. Research into its possibilities began with the ornaments. Seen up close they resemble knitting, something I use a lot. That was interesting, particularly as I had a special piece of knitted silver wire, enhanced with silver clay, that I knew would reflect these markings perfectly.


As far as I was able to discover, these and other wonderful shapes on the pan are calcification (a shell-like substance) left behind by tiny marine organisms threatened by warming seas. It was nice to know that I would be preserving evidence of their existence, and their handiwork, should they ever become extinct (God forbid....). It then occurred to me that although we live a world affected by climate change, quantum physics allows for the possibility of a universe parallel to our own in which there is no human induced climate change. And Einstein's theories provide a way to travel there - via a wormhole.














For those who would like a wormhole refresher, here is one way of understanding them. In our usual way of thinking about the universe, to get from here to a planet 3,000 light years away, we would need to travel for 3,000 years (moving at the speed of light). But what if, as Einstein's theories suggest, the universe is actually curved or can curve? That way, two points a long way apart could line up with each other. The theory goes that if two planets lined up, gravitational forces would cause a "wormhole" to appear between them. This wormhole could allow almost instantaneous travel between the two planets. The theory also applies to parallel universes, should they exist. If planets in two parallel universes lined up, gravitational forces could cause a wormhole to appear, allowing travel between the two universes.


And so it became clear that my silver wormhole would be at home on a flotsam baking pan, to speak to the patterns, complement the watercolour-like apertures and provide an alternative reality on demand. Happily, Ian Whitmore, curator at Quay Arts, agreed to include them both as Watercolour with Wormhole in the SIX exhibition where this and four of my other works were exhibited alongside the exceptional creations of five other artists, all chosen from the Quay Arts Biennial Open competition. This piece told me, however, that it would like to travel away from its

home on the Isle of Wight and so it is now being exhibited in the 2022 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 21 June to 21 August.