From a comment on my previous post about Fractal Images (thanks, Cedra), I learned of Carter Hodgkin, an artist working on one of those wonderfully fuzzy borders between art and science.
Hodgkin’s paintings, drawings and prints are inspired by the tracings of “exotic” particles, strange bits of matter born in the miniature cataclysms created in the bubble chambers (or “cloud chambers”, I love that phrase) in the heart of the great atom smashers like the Tevatron at Fermilab or the Large Hadron Collider.
These particles, the examination of which is one of the gateways to our understanding of the fundamental nature of space/time, exist for only the briefest blips of time, increments so small they defy understanding.
The tracks that trace their fleeting expression in this world are the paths they take out of the collision, usually in graceful spirals and curves with their own strange beauty (you can see a couple of actual images here and here).
Taking these spirals, curves and lines as a starting point, Hodgkin creates images that are partly digital, then inkjet printed at a fairly large scale and painted into with oil enamel or watercolor.
The resultant images carry some of the mathematical geometry of the original cloud chamber inspiration, imbued with the artist’s range of color and value choices, and are somewhere in between representational and non-representational, as well as in between art an science, and in between nature and imagination.