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conrad shawcross at the roundhouse

Posted on: July 29th, 2013 by libby


One of my favourite artists, Conrad Shawcross, has a new exhibition at the roundhouse this summer, through which he wants to challenge our preconceptions of time.  His inspiration comes from the 24 pillars that circle the main floor of the building.  Shawcross states in this teaser video that he aims to make the familiar peculiar and that as an artist he is able to merely respond to time rather try to understand it from a fundamental perspective.  He suggests that works of art, unlike established scientific models, are allowed to fail and that is what makes art uniquely interesting: it creates problems rather than solves them.

The last time I saw one of Shawcross' kinetic sculptures was at the Lightshow, Haywood gallery and for me it was one of the standout pieces of the exhibition.  Entitled "Slow Arc inside a Cube (2008)", it was inspired by crystal radiography.  The viewers were left clustered around the outskirts of the room, while the light swept from side-to-side creating shifts in space and even the perceived dimensionality of the area.

conrad shawcross at the lightshow

Conrad Shawcross, Slow Arc inside a Cube (2008).

The new exhibition at the Roundhouse promises to be grander still and with a pay-what-you-want entrance policy there is no excuse for not popping by to see it after 1st August.


playing with grids

Posted on: July 28th, 2013 by libby


Today I decided to start playing with grids in my ongoing drawing.

I remember hearing about the grid in my art history lessons years ago and it's not surprising that it has been used in art for long time: traditionally to divide up a picture ready to transfer to a larger plane, but more recently as the primary subject like in, for instance, the famous paintings by Mondrian (see below).


Is the grid just a convenient construct that allows artists to divide up space with minimal fuss?  Or can it play a more fundamental role?

So far my drawing is comprised of organically spreading building blocks that exist on the reverse side of the paper (see my previous blog post about it here).  I think the formality of the grid is a nice contrast not only to this, but also to the randomly dripped white paint that forms a barrier to the underneath.  I'm not sure how this piece will finally end up - it is turning out to be more abstract than my other drawings in the global mega-cities series - but i'm hoping that the grid will allude to the idea of a cage, or barrier - a prison pinning the rest of the drawing in place.  The grid empowers the surface of the drawing, while covering its hidden observables or even its subconscious.

playing with grids


More soon x


covariance artwork

Posted on: July 24th, 2013 by libby No Comments


A covariance matrix contains the correlations between different random variables.  Covariance is, therefore, a well-suited title for the outcome of an art/science collaboration between artist Lyndall Phelps and particle physicist Ben Still.  The collaboration has lasted nine months, during which time Phelps and Still have found parallels in their respective research activities.  Like the famed particle accelerator CERN, which has millions of carefully placed components, Covariance is an installation comprised of hundreds of uniquely and intricately patterned perspex discs.  Covariance is promising to be a spectacular sight, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing it presented this summer in a surprise London location.


Lyndall Phelps putting together the perspex discs: Image courtesy of the Superposition blog.

large overlapping circles

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013 by libby



like water waves from pebbles in a pond or diffraction patterns from light. Almost finished this first part of a new, large drawing.

some new work

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by libby


Coming soon: a series of new drawings inspired by the remarkable recent finding that quantum physics plays a role in photosynthesis


equations as art

Posted on: July 14th, 2013 by libby No Comments



I saw this photograph by Alejandro Guijarro in the Saatchi Gallery the other day. It is said to represent an Abstract Expressionist painting, due in part to the large gestural marks that occur when cleaning the board. I'm still undecided about it though...