Photosynthetic Orrery. 2020


Chlorophilia : Artists : Paul Malone

About the artwork

'Photosynthetic Orrery'

There are many mysteries about how the Earth and the Sun interact and how the radiance which shines down creates the mechanism for life here. This artwork explores that relationship. It models how the radiance of the Earth itself and how its carpet of life returns and recycles that radiance back to the Sun.

Intrinsic to that process is the presence of a universal charge field. By that, what is meant is the 'ether' of base level photons that support the manifestations of the electro-magnetic field and other phenomena. These photons are clustered in the infra-red part of the spectrum and are that which we experience as heat. They are constantly recycled at all scales and with increasing complexity, from the sub-atomic to the galactic. Midway in this recycling are the processes that we understand as life.

The work is composed of eight tubes forming the structural element of the piece. These are, in their cross-section, made into waves of 21 cms diameter. This is the radio signature of hydrogen, the basic material of the Universe. They also symbolise the emissive charge field of the Earth pushing the upward motion of sap through the xylem.

Two model railway orreries are supported by this structure the top one represents a model of the Sun's photosphere and its golden light. The lower one orbits within the realm of the Earth and models the transformation of the light above into the vegetative world. Scattered through the piece are fragments of gold leaf, as if dropped from the orbiting photosphere, and in emulation of the Medieval concept of the celestial sphere.

The wagons on the trains carry equations of transmutation, the above of the nuclear processes taking place in the photosphere of the Sun and the lower of transmutations of photosynthesis.

About the artist

I have always been interested in how the physical world comes to be here; how it originated, how it maintains itself and what is its relationship to consciousness. Specifically, I am interested in experimenting with the perception of surfaces as a gateway into this domain.

In my latest series of artworks I am interested in commentary on the methodology of contemporary scientific model-making. In contemporary instance we have seen the inadequacies of this process multiplied by the use of supercomputers. In these works however, that potential for error is overcome by the use of the phenomenology of the model railway environment and associated mechanics.

I studied Fine Art at Reading University for B.A. Degree in 1976 and MFA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1980. Since leaving college I have worked in studios based in the London districts of Waterloo, Greenwich and, most recently, Art in Perpetuity in Deptford.

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