Friday, December 23, 2011

life in the stars...

And so this is Christmas, 2011. This time of year always sets me thinking about the big scheme of things, from the very close to home and my love for the people I am with, to feeling so small and far apart - missing those far away, or sadly gone from this life. It's the latter that sends me to the big cosmological questions, quite literally to ponder life, the universe, and everything.
A pierced copper star for a friend's tree. 2009.

There is apparently a beautiful reality - cosmologically speaking - that we contain elements from the stars, and we return this gift to the cosmos when we pass. Our atoms continue to move through the universe, uniting us with all of life. My work is frequently inspired by ideas like this, relating our very human quest to understand the natural history of our universe with the emotional experience of living, and loving.


A Big Pi Universe. Cast sterling silver pendant. 2011.
I'm sharing a picture of my piece called "A Big Pi Universe". Basically, this is a really big silver pendant... But that familiar saddle shape has a really special meaning, a cosmological inspiration based in Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity. Turns out there are many possibilities predicted by the theory, and a saddle-shaped universe is just one of them (lots more on Wikipedia).

I'm linking my piece to a fabulous public lecture I watched recently - 44 mins and 23 seconds of video pleasure provided by Dr Lawrence Krauss - bio below, courtesy of Vimeo. Dr Krauss explains just how and why we are connected to the stars: Lawrence Krauss On Cosmic Connections

This is 3/4 of an hour that I intend to share with Dr Krauss again. It is undoubtedly much more stimulating than anything offered by the yuletide TV schedule (and probably unlike any life science class you ever thought you'd sit through): Dr Krauss is eloquent throughout, and naughty enough to amuse. It's a beautiful discussion of some really big questions about life, the universe, and everything, so if you fancy something a cut above anything you'll find on TV this Christmas I'd highly recommend it (and yes, I did say I was a nerd last time!)


My thoughts are with Tom, Theo, Bob, and their families. With very best wishes for all of our lives and loves in the cosmos. 



Lawrence Krauss On Cosmic Connections
This was a special guest lecture given in London, England earlier this year, and posted by The School Of Life on Vimeo. I am always concerned about the branding of content, and whether people are put off because of who posted it, so I checked this organization out too, here's the School Of Life intro from Vimeo:

The School Of Life
The School of Life offers good ideas for everyday living. We address such questions as why work is often unfulfilling, why relationships can be so challenging, why it’s ever harder to stay calm and what one could do to try to change the world for the better. You will not be cornered by any dogma, but directed towards a variety of ideas - from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – that tickle, exercise and expand your mind.

...And the bio for Dr Krauss:
Dr Lawrence Krauss is a prolific and popular writer and an indefatigable fighter for science and critical thinking. At Arizona State University, he is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Departments, Associate Director of the Beyond Center, and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative. He is also Director of the exciting new Origins Initiative, which explores questions ranging from the origin of the Universe to the origins of human culture and cognition. He has studied and explained matters from the microscopic to astronomical. In performing with the Cleveland Orchestra, judging at the Sundance Film Festival, and his Grammy nominated notes for Telarc Records, Krauss has also bridged the chasm between science and popular culture.


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