Dendritic patterning and more

Dendritic patterning often occurs a few seconds after ink meets water, and has its own set of characteristics with its featherlike textures. Here are a couple of examples taken in the lab yesterday, as well as some more pictures of outflow combined with swirl.


‘Effervescent feather essence’




‘Swirl unfurl’


‘Broadcast in colour’


Adding some spin – a collection of vortices

Over the weeks I have been collecting vortices in Exeter University Fluids lab, generated in different ways.


‘Fluid needlepoint’



Yesterday, whilst helping some students with their projects at Exeter Uni, new patterns emerged. I will post more on their projects at a later date; meanwhile here is a cosmic timelapse swirl, and vortices being pulled towards a certain object .. all will be revealed later on! The textures within the first image ‘Cosmic swirls’, remind me of those in a chalk drawing on coloured paper.


‘Cosmic swirls’

In the image below, vortices formed by dropping ink start to pull towards the left; their shapes modified by a new sideways force.


‘Pulling left; attracted by what ..’

Finally an image created at home for the latest video, ‘Astronomy’, in my collaborative series with Tullio DeSantis. See my post earlier for the whole video. The length of the streaks in this flow increases toward the middle of the vortex where the flow becomes faster.


‘Dynamic astronomy’

“Cosmology, Astronomy, Biology” – a collaborative work now complete

The middle section of the three-part series “Cosmology, Astronomy, Biology” is now complete, and “Astronomy” can be seen just below. The other two videos in the series appear in my most recent posts. This final video completes this collaborative work by Tullio DeSantis and myself, featuring words and audio by Tullio, combined with my still and moving imagery.

“Astronomy” traces the development of the cosmos from before the Big Bang up until the present day, linking tiny subatomic events with large-scale phenomena such as supernovae and the evolving galaxies. Accompanied by atmospheric music, this is an exploration of the universe at every scale, in terms of verbal and visual metaphor.

A new movie and new experiments with flow

Tullio De Santis and I have completed a new movie entitled “Cosmology”, the first of a series of three movies.

“Biology” was posted here last week, and we are currently working on the middle one of the three which will be entitled “Astronomy”.

Here is “Cosmology”, in which the words and audio are by Tullio, combined with my still and moving imagery. We see a journey through time and space tracing the development of the cosmos, and echoing its ever-increasing complexity.

In the Fluids lab at Exeter University I have been investigating the effects of combining outward and rotational flow. This combination can lead to complex and unusual patterning – here are some examples all taken from movie footage:


‘New blue wave’


‘pink and cream meander’


‘Big splash’

Collaboration and synergy! – brand new biology video

Tullio DeSantis and I have just completed a new video on the theme ‘Biology’. The words and audio are by Tullio, and I photographed the movies and stills. It has been a really exciting venture! – more to come, too.

To see Tullio’s art, poetry, and more, visit his website here

Using verbal and visual metaphor, this piece explores the development of life from its earliest stages to the present day. Word, music and image are closely integrated, and with the imaginative input of the viewer, new connections and associations will be made.

EMBO Journal Cover Contest 2012


I am delighted that one of the images I submitted for this year’s EMBO Journal Cover Contest has been selected for their online gallery. My image, entitled ‘Underwater Life’ seen full size below, is created from light travelling through glass, reminiscent of a sea creature seen beneath rippling water. To see all the gallery images, a wonderfully varied selection, click here


‘Underwater Life’