Smoke and light

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday using the smoke wand at the lab. You can see the end of it in some of the images; it shoots out thin streams of oil which create smoke ‘strings’ … these then develop into vortices; as their speed slows down, I guess …


‘staccato jet stream’


‘Jets and wafts’


‘more jets and wafts’


‘3D vortices’


Vortices with smoke and soap

I tried out the smoke machine for the first time this week at the lab, and spent a day experimenting with speed of smoke and light effects. I will be posting some ‘smokescape’ images soon. Meanwhile here are two pieces featuring vortex patterns:


‘Translucent links’



Interesting to be back in the land of 3D after so much 2D soap film work .. here’s a curious set of soap vortices by way of contrast with the above.


Fluid perceptions

Here is a new video which connects several points in time, and some images which connect us with cosmic phenomena.

First, the video… which features ink/watercolour images of a small waterfall on the Streatham campus at Exeter University. The images were made from one viewpoint during the course of a few hours, and the video, with its slow transitions, emphasizes this temporal aspect of the sequence. The images are shown in the order in which they were painted, and portray different aspects of the same viewpoint; some emphasizing the light on the water, others the colour of moss and rock, or shapes of stranded leaves.

Whilst painting I was conscious of my changing perceptions; of shapes and sounds merging together; for instance a similarity of shape between water and hanging strands of moss. Later in the morning some light rain fell, creating new textures within the paintings and adding a new dimension to the sounds .. the sounds of rain and waterfall becoming indistinguishable; merging into one, as reflected in the haiku at the end.

And some images with cosmic echoes… ‘Worlds within swirls’ from a restless pond at the Uni, and ‘Great Red Line’, a companion to Jupiter, found in the lab.


‘Worlds within swirls’


‘Great Red Line’

Walking towards water

Exeter University’s Streatham campus has beautiful landscaped gardens and walkways; full of exotic plants, sculptures and water features. I have spent some time admiring these aspects over the past few months, and now want to document and share them with others, in particular the water features. I’m hoping to do this as a kind of ‘water meander’ – rather like a sculpture trail which others can also enjoy.

Yesterday, with this idea in mind, I made another explore of the grounds, and found some intriguing examples of natural flow visualization – water shadows on leaves, vortex swirls seen in duck weed, etc. There is a lot to discover, and I’m putting together the photographs I took … here a couple, the first one witnessing what appears to be an exotic peacock looking at the fountain….


‘Peacock at the fountain’


‘Liquid geometry’

Saponiferae – a new genus …

Saponiferae … discovered during the course of my investigations at Exeter University during the past few months, caught, labelled and mounted below. The original will be hung soon at the University.

These life forms have unique characteristics which will be explored in due course.



This video examines the inner evolution of Polystipula animalis.