Napa Lighted Art Festival – Glass, Pyrography and more

The Ordered Universe symposium series at the Napa Lighted Art Festival, two weeks ago today, began with two sessions, one from Cate Watkinson (University of Sunderland and Watkinson Glass Associates) and Giles Gasper (Durham University). Speaking on Glass Continue reading

Preview 9: The Greatest Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of … at the Napa Lighted Art Festival 19 Jan 2019

Members of the Ordered Universe team will be in California in January 2019 for the Napa Lighted Art Festival, bringing our favourite blend of medieval history, modern science and mesmerising art to the west coast of the USA for the first time.

This is the ninth in a series of posts designed to tell you more about each of our events at the Napa Lighted Art Festival and how you can get involved.

Continue reading

Preview 4: Horizon and Beyond the Horizon at the Napa Lighted Art Festival 17, 18, 19 Jan 2019

Members of the Ordered Universe team will be in California in January 2019 for the Napa Lighted Art Festival, bringing our favourite blend of medieval history, modern science, and mesmerising art to the west coast of the USA for the first time.

This is the fourth in a series of posts designed to tell you more about each of our events at the Napa Lighted Art Festival and how you can get involved.

Details

Event: Beyond the Horizon
Dates: 17, 18, 19 Jan 2019
Time: 5pm–6:30pm
Location: Napa County Historical Society, 1219 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559
Tickets: We strongly recommend booking tickets for this event. Tickets are free and are available via Eventbrite. This event is 45 minutes long and will run twice within its timeslot.

Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Thu 17 Jan 5pm–5:45pm activities.
Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Thu 17 Jan 5:45pm–6:30pm activities.

Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Fri 18 Jan 5pm–5:45pm activities.
Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Fri 18 Jan 5:45pm–6:30pm activities.

Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Sat 19 Jan 6pm–6:45pm activities (note later timeslot).
Click here to reserve a space via Eventbrite for Sat 19 Jan 6:45pm–7:30pm activities (note later timeslot).

Horizon: Projection show – with supporting activities Beyond the Horizon

Find out about the science and history behind the projection piece, Horizon in this event that lets you meet the creators and find out how to transform medieval ideas into modern art and research. Dedicated to medieval European science, interpreted through art, history and science, the project’s research underpins Horizon. Discover the medieval cosmos; the wider work of the project on natural phenomena from colour to comets and sound to sight; the science of perception; and artistic interpretations in glass, sculpture and film.

You can learn more about the Horizon projection here. Horizon will play every night of the Napa Lighted Art Festival on the Goodman Library. Watch the show and then come inside to find out how it’s made.

These activities are part of a series curated by the Ordered Universe Research Project and Durham University, UK, for the 2019 Napa Lighted Festival – Beyond.

About the Presenters

The projection piece Horizon featured in the Napa Lighted Art Festival was designed and created by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio.

DSC03655Ross Ashton was born in Sheffield in 1961. Having trained in photography and theatre he moved to London and began to work in video and slide projection. After spending four years in Paris working with a variety of visual media, he began specialising in High Power Projection in 1992. His years of experience have produced an instinctive understanding of the relationship between artwork and structure, light and surface, object and subject. The size and scale of his work has led to his being commissioned for both stand-alone works and broader based large shows designed and created for national and international audiences. His specially commissioned ‘son et lumière’ have received world-wide attention. His reputation for large scale spectacular pieces mean that he has created projections as commemorations for governments around the world. He has also collaborated with other artists and lighting designers in the production of shows from Rock & Roll to classical concerts and theatre. His expertise has also been called on for numerous film and television productions. His work has been seen by millions throughout his career and never fails to be thought provoking, moving and exhilarating.

DSC03695Karen Monid is an audio artist and designer, creating soundscapes and sound installations. She works in many fields including outdoor public events, arts festivals and exhibitions and has an extensive background in theatre and production. She is an experienced researcher and scriptwriter and is particularly skilled at working collaboratively with project partners and groups. Her skills include creating sound works for son et lumière productions, incorporating her deep knowledge and long established expertise in architectural projection.

The event Beyond The Horizon will be delivered by the Ordered Universe team.

Preview 3: Beyond the Visible at the Napa Lighted Art Festival 17 Jan 2019

Members of the Ordered Universe team will be in California in January 2019 for the Napa Lighted Art Festival, bringing our favourite blend of medieval history, modern science, and mesmerising art to the west coast of the USA for the first time.

This is the third in a series of posts designed to tell you more about each of our events at the Napa Lighted Art Festival and how you can get involved.

Continue reading

Ordered Universe at the Napa Lighted Festival 2019 – Programme

 

So, in January, you’ll be able to catch a number of Ordered Universe team members at the Napa Lighted Art Festival. We’re hugely excited about the opportunity which was instigated by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio (with whom we have worked very successfully as followers of this blog will surely know). We’ve been working Continue reading

Ordered Universe in Napa – Brian Tanner

Maybe it was happy memories of touring Napa Valley wineries some years ago, but when I was offered the opportunity  of taking part in the Napa Lighted Art Festival this coming January, I had no hesitation in accepting. For the past 10 years, Durham (UK) has had a similar event, Lumière, so I am expecting a spectacular visual experience. The Ordered Universe team is participating in the associated public activities series and I relish the thought of sharing my experiences of light in all its forms with residents and visitors to Napa. Colin Rennie and I will present a session ‘Beyond the Visible’ where we will go on a journey from X-Ray Imaging via Radio Astronomy to glass Art, all inspired by the science of the electromagnetic spectrum and one great thinker in particular, the 13thcentury polymath, Robert Grosseteste. The creative fusion between medieval European theories, modern vision science and glass art unlocks artistic inspiration and experience, which always surprises me.  It is never what I expect from our artist collaborators.

We will also enjoy showing visitors how simple optics experiments and observations, that they can themselves do with minimal apparatus, have a deep-rooted history in the medieval and classical worlds. I look forward to evenings revelling in the pieces of light art to be projected on to buildings, objects and in spaces. And, of course, there is the wine.

Napa Sun

Color est lux incoporata perspicuo – Colour is light incorporated in a transparent medium

Ordered Universe in California 2019: Napa Lighted Festival

 

January 2019 – if you’re in or around Napa California, drop into the Napa Lighted Festival which runs in the second two weeks of the month. Various members of the Ordered Universe team will be participating with a series of talks and activities in the afternoons and evenings of the 17th, 18th, 19th. We’re thrilled by the invitation to work for and with the Festival, which came about through Ross Ashton and Karen Monid of The Projection Studio. With a festival theme of Beyond, we’ll be working with Ross and Karen on a new projection show drawing on Grosseteste’s cosmological treatises: Horizon. On the Six ‘Diffeertiae’, On the Sphere, and others will feature in the new piece, under development at the moment. Taking research from the seminar-room to a different audience, in partnership with artistic collaborators is a fascinating and exhilarating experience. We’re very much looking forward to working with the Parks and Recreation Department in Napa to bring the best that we can to the city. Continue reading

Ordered Universe Creative News 2: Magnitudo in Japan

In more news from the Ordered Universe creative arts strands, we’re delighted that Colin Rennie’s sculpture Magnitudo, having been entered into the Toyama International Glass Prize, a Triennial open competition for glass art. Created for the Illuminating Colour exhibition at the National Glass Centre (2017-18), Magnitudo also featured in the Light Embodied exhibition at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, April-June 2018.

The sculpture is now in Japan, as one of 57 pieces selected for the final judging show in September. There were over a thousand entries globally. That a piece of glass sculpture should be inspired by Grosseteste’s 13th century writings on colour, light and the rainbow, and the modern science that resulted from its investigation, is a wonderful story. Let’s hope the judges think similarly.  We’ll let you know how the competition proceeds.

magnitudo1.jpg

 

Colin has also entered Concurrentes to the annual New Glass Review at the Corning Museum of Glass, upstate New York. Another journey across the seas awaits perhaps.We all wish Colin the very best of luck!

Elemental! Hot Glass, Volcanoes and Bubbles

 

 

Just over a week ago Ordered Universe (28th June) members joined colleagues from the National Glass Centre, most of whom are part of the project, but it was brilliant to meet new colleagues as well including Joanne Mitchell. And we were joined by other colleagues from Durham University’s Department of Earth Sciences, Drs Ed Lllewellin and Fabian Wadsworth, specialists in volcanology. The meeting opened with a collaborative reading of Grosseteste’s beautiful treatise On the Impressions of the Elements, in which the question of heat and the nature of bubbles are investigated. These were all pertinent themes and phenomena for the gathering, and a lively conversation took place, showing again how stimulating these gem-like treatises from the early thirteenth century are, 900 years later.

 

 

We then enjoyed our first introduction to the hot glass studio, with a fabulous rendition of Grosseteste’s treatise in glass by Colin Rennie. Bubbles blown, and attached, and the piece came together before our eyes, in all the wonderful shimmering, changing colours of the glass as it cooled. And we had our own try and drizzling molten glass onto damped paper to create a variety of effects…abstract, pungent, a lot of fun, and a very interesting experience in learning to manipulate the medium (which you have to do fast!).

 

Lunchtime, a different location, and a different sequence of talks – catching up on the various lines of shred interest and the legacy of previous work and exhibitions, a paper by Josh Harvey on his work on material perception with material from medieval Norwegian polychrome sculpture provided by Kaja Kollandsrud, and then a demonstration by Fabian and Ed of volcanoes in action. Not with lava but with syrup and a cherry favoured carbonated drink. Glass and its properties, naturally in volcanoes and as worked in the studio, hot or cold, provoked a long discussion: the similarities and differences in the scientific and artistic approach to the medium were striking, and a lovely example of knowledge exchange.

 

 

Then came our time in the hot shop again, to make paper-weights. This time, we had the experience of holding the glass, shaping it and learning to hold the equipment in the right place (because metal conducts heat…easy to forget in, well, the heat of the moment), The feeling of the heat coming off the ball of viscous, moving, radiating material which we were attempting to mould was extraordinary. And it made Cate and Colin’s skill all the more awe-inspiring. The results were kiln-cooled, and look very passable – all credit to our teachers and guides. We then watched Colin make a first draft of a piece of glassware inspired by medieval models…more on that to come.

 

A super day, one to treasure, and full of possibilities for future collaboration. We’re very grateful indeed to Claire Todd for organising, and to Cate, Colin and all at the National Glass Centre for sharing their experience and time. And can’t wait to see Grosseteste in glass, again.

Glass Gathering – Creative Experimentation with Hot Glass

Glass Gathering Poster

Experimenting with hot glass is probably best to be tried in the company, and with the guidance, of experts. That being the case, it would be difficult to find more expert guides for this particular activity than those at the National Glass Centre. So it is the best of all possible worlds in which the NGC and Hot Glass Studio, University of Sunderland, have organised a research and experience day, in which Ordered Universe members will be taking part. We’ll be reading one of more recent editions and translations, that of the treatise On the Impressions of the Elements, which is all about bubble formation in water and the action of heat. Quite appropriate, then, for a day devoted to hot glass experiments.

That done we’ll move to experimenting with and experiencing what it is to work with hot glass (a step-up from our last knowledge exchange session which involved sand-casting). Learning not only how glass works, but how those experienced at manipulating it explain their craft and  process, is essential to the effort of reconstructing how things were done, or conceived in the past. And, there are also scientific dimensions – we’re going to be joined by vulcanologists from Durham University’s Earth Sciences Department, and thinking about the ways in which glass-blowing and natural glass production in lava might mutually inform.

We’ll be having a catch-up as well on the various projects going forward with our colleagues at the NGC; publications, new collaborative working, and potentially, a range of wine-glasses. You never quite know what to expect at these meetings, and that’s all part of the fun! We’re enormously grateful to Cate Watkinson, Colin Rennie, and Claire Todd for organising, hosting and supervising (!) the day, and will report on what emerges (conceptually and in glass).

 

Note: Image of the 1954 Kilauea eruption from the U.S. Geological Survey.