Allan McRobie Structural Design Lecturer, Cambridge University
Artist Benjamin Bridges
Chairman Adrian Holme
The Devereux Pub
20 Devereux Court, London WC2R 3JJ
The Hidden Pattern Salon looked at patterns underlying behaviour and process. With much attention now focused on the patterns of behaviour found in big data areas such as the stock market and weather systems, this salon looked at two practices which consciously work with their own hidden patterns and flow of events.
Allan lectures on structural design at Cambridge University. With a background in bridge design and mathematics, his work is involved with dynamic systems - including the highly topical science of river modelling and flooding.
Allan’s talk looked at Singularity and Stability Theories and reveals the extraordinary hidden patterns of Catastrophe Theory. This theory analyses the movements of structures in flux, such as buildings and boats at the point of collapse or capsize. What emerges is that apparently random, chaotic events conform to a simple set of beautiful and iconic movement patterns.
His talk explored how the maths behind these theories has applications in the sciences, from the stability of oil rigs through to gravitational astronomy, as well as shedding rather unexpected new light on many avenues of art. Using the grammar of curved geometry he invites us to revisit drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture - from old masters, though modernism – along with our perception of everyday phenomena such as rainbows and the dancing patterns of light on the sides of boats.
Benjamin discussed his paintings and drawings, focusing on the cyclical pattern of challenges and resolutions within his practice. These ranged from creative blocks to seemingly disconnected ideas and an emerging order which can often only be discovered through hindsight. This was within the context of his wider practice in which he has now begun to employ these unknowns as an active part of his work.
Benjamin graduated from Wimbledon College of Art with a first in painting and since then has exhibited in the UK and Holland. Last year he had his second solo show at Arttra in Amsterdam with his first solo show in London at dalla Rosa gallery coinciding with this IMS event. He set up Hollow Earth London, an art blog site where he produces filmed interviews with other artists. This platform has grown to include exhibitions and detailed artist profiles. He is also one of the founders of Croydon International Film Festival which will be a 2 day series of screenings in October 2014.
Ben states there is no central argument that can neatly tie together the images and surfaces that he makes. His work are nebulous but draw from a wide range of passions and experiences. These interests include lonely places and the exploration of uncharted territories. Humorous and light-hearted scenes and images filled with the unsettling weight of fairytales. Spending his youth in the mountains gave him a love of cold northern Landscapes. He is drawn to ideas of beauty and the sublime, and particularly to the parallels of destruction and awe. Elements of geometry, brutalist architecture, Dutch Golden Era painting and new wave science fiction also seem to pop up again and again in his work.
Solo show details:
Title of exhibition: Pythagoras Adrift
Running: 14 March - 12 April, with preview on Thursday 13 March, 6.30 - 8.30
Venue: dalla Rosa Gallery, 121 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5BY
Adrian has chaired several successful events for ideas-matter-sphere, and presented his own talk on Alchemy at the Visual Science salon in 2013. He lectures on the BA Hons Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts and is a writer, artist, and performer, with a background in biology and information science. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Illustration (Intellect Ltd.). In 2013, Adrian chaired and co-curated the Fourth International Illustration Research Symposium, Science, Imagination and the Illustration of Knowledge, held in Oxford. He was also part of the Jiggling Atoms project in 2012.
Image: Allan McRobie -
Patterns of catastrophe optics and key catastrophes on a swimming pool floor in the sunshine.
images: Benjamin Bridges
top: Broken Hearted (152 x 122cm, Oil on Canvas) 2013
below: A New Country (51 x 42cm) Oil on Canvas, 2013