a nonlinear artwork
for wild 2002 : : painting
ideas of curved space by charmian smith
Reprinted from the Otago Daily Times
Clothier is a painter and philosopher who explores the concept of curved space
in his painting. With a fellow artist from Akaroa, craft jeweler Peter McKay,
he is exhibiting at the Aero Club Gallery.
idea of trying to paint curved space was sparked when he saw an exhibition in
Japan in the late 1980's called "Space in European Art." It covered
2500 years of Western art and explored the Western perception of space which was
different from the Japanese, he said.
perceptions of space were dependent on particular belief systems. In the Middle
Ages and in some Eastern art, space had been flattened whereas Renaissance artists
had developed perspective to represent three dimensions. Cubists had developed
another concept of space, looking at objects from multiple viewpoints.
idea of the curvature
of space was first proposed by Einstein and had been developed by later physicists.
The fact that space was curved might entail new ways of looking at space. "It
is well understood by physicists that apples do not fall downwards from trees
but are attracted towards a centre of denser gravity."
representing curved space had no top or bottom and so depended on rotational
symmetry. They could be looked at from any angle and the principle of orientation
around the centre was pivotal, he said.
also relied on recursion
across scales, a characteristic of computer fractals, in which the character
of something was repeated whether the observer was close or at a distance, he
Mr Clothier said he was not only painting ideas. His own emotions and reverence
for the wholeness of nature also influenced his paintings.
was born and educated in Christchurch New Zealand, at Burnside High School and
Canterbury University, then attended Monash University in Melbourne where he graduated
with diploma in visual arts. In between visiting galleries in Europe, America
and Japan, he was Exhibition, Education and Publicity officer for the Akaroa gallery."
the idea of developing a curved space occurred to me in 1994; the understanding
of the role of space in Western art happened in Tokyo in 1987.
picture space is made up of attraction to a relative centre (e.g. galaxy clustering,
gravity); rotational symmetry (visual and mathematical property of many culture's
output); and recursion across scales (prime element of fractals).
picture space is seen as a shape, it becomes possible to ask: what about a triangular
picture space? But as yet, there's no work that could provide evidence of it.
This is a link
to my site.