New library, new work! – A celebration.

I was delighted to go along to Exeter Uni Library yesterday evening to have a drink and a chat, and see all the new pictures which have been chosen for the new spaces – a great selection of photography there! I understand there has been some really good feedback already from library users, which is great to hear. There will be a forthcoming feature on the images, so will post a link when it comes along.

Here is one of my images chosen for the walls, entitled ‘Micromacroscape’




Metallic textures and cavitations

It seems that there are endless surprises to be had in the Fluids Lab, and yesterday was no exception. I was intrigued at the regular textures which can be generated with a very slow-moving flow – The ink in water can take on the appearance of shiny metal. I also produced lines of bubbles, which, when they popped, left amazing patterns behind on the surface of the ink as evidence of their existence. Perhaps bubbles are not so ephemeral, after all.






‘Silver fish’

Recent work – two new galleries

Here are two more personal favourites from this year. ‘Effervescent feather essence’ was created in the Fluids Lab, and shows dendritic patterning of ink combined with a vortex swirl. ‘Echoes of flight and light’ is an image of light travelling through glass.


‘Effervescent feather essence’


‘Echoes of flight and light’

New curved perspectives

Earlier this week I spent some time drawing in the Forum building on the Streatham campus at Exeter Uni. This recently completed project has some amazing features including a beautiful curved wooden roof of tessellated triangles.

I saw part of this roof reflected in a curved glass wall, and was inspired by its transformation; layer upon layer of beautiful curved triangular shapes appeared, along with elegant support structures and reflections of trees and the cafe behind the glass.

While I was drawing the reflections, I was struck by their depth and clarity, and could imagine walking around inside this new alternative world. I was reminded of some of M.C. Escher’s drawings, and of the fan vaulting at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The artwork I made, shown below, is entitled “Within the forum, within the curves”


‘Within the Forum, within the Curves’

My new collaborative video with Tullio DeSantis

‘Cosmological’ is a new collaborative piece by Tullio DeSantis and myself. The music is by Tullio – its mood and atmosphere, characterised by an underlying raw energy, influencing my choice of imagery, where formative elemental processes are seen at work. The inexorable quality to the music put me in mind of witnessing a slice of cosmic events, of actually being there. Assembly and disassembly … matter forming into planets and then fragmenting into particles; fluctuating between the two processes – zooming in and out again; also alternating between the whole and parts of it; diving into the planets to see what lies beneath their surface.

I hope you enjoy this new journey through the cosmos.

Down in the lab today

In the Fluids lab today at Exeter Uni, I was using the large Ahlborn tank to do work with flow around cylinders. I also did some slow flow visualization where ink fell slowly down into a pool at the far end of the tank – see picture of me below standing at the far end.

This system is self-circulatory, so any ink used reappears as it is pumped round. This means the tank needs to be cleaned fairly regularly! The picture below shows me at the end of the tank having had a go at cleaning it .. you can see my reflection in the glass now!


‘Follow the arrows’




‘Baroque vortices’


‘Flow like a flower’


‘Reflection reappearance!’ – My thanks to Dave for this photo.

Five evolutionary stages

I enjoy creating images of life forms in different media, and it’s interesting to watch them evolve. Here are five, starting with blue-green algae and ending with quite a vicious-looking shark. As always, the different media which I use reflect the same artistic concerns; whether using glass or fluids.


‘Blue-green dream’


‘Ancient forms’


‘Special worm’


‘Advanced pond life’


‘Fierce predator’

Splitting the liquids

I have been creating small-scale outflows in the lab at Exeter Uni – some of which you can see in the video shown in my post immediately below this one.

This type of flow has many interesting features. We get a chance to observe how ink behaves when it is pulled apart by the increasing spread of a fast outward flow, when it begins to split, often forming irregular, feathered edges. Outward flow caught in a swirl can result in zigzag splits as in “Ever expanding”. We also see how ink colours remain discrete; there is no mixing as they undergo their outward flow.

Here are a few examples which illustrate the above: “Wave splitter”, “Flyaway”, “Ever expanding”, “Rococo Waveforms” and “Blue Surf”.


‘Wave splitter’




‘Ever expanding’


‘Rococo waveforms’


‘Blue surf’

Antumbral – a new video

Tullio DeSantis and I have collaborated to make another movie, featuring Tullio’s music and my images.

The meditative atmosphere of the music inspires my choice of imagery, together with ideas to do with eclipse effects – shadow, disclosure, revelation and textural layering. The video makes use of long transitions to reveal new textures and shapes, and the images themselves often contain superimpositions; smoke over objects and bubbles moving across coloured surfaces. There is a relaxed, retro mood to the whole piece, which I hope you enjoy!