New artwork inspired by physics and astronomy

On 16 May the Principal of QMUL, Prof. Colin Bailey, unveiled a new work of art in the foyer of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s G O Jones building on QMUL’s Mile End campus.

The glass sculpture, by local artist Livvy Fink, was commissioned to represent the diversity of QMUL’s research in physics and astronomy and draws its inspiration from a range of physical concepts, including phase transitions, string theory and the high energy collisions of elementary particles. It consists of seven glass spheres; within each is embedded a complex and intriguing internal structure. It will remain on permanent display in the foyer of the G O Jones building.

The piece is lit by a fibre-optic arrangement that was designed by Prof David Dunstan of the School of Physics and Astronomy and built by Absolute Action Ltd.

Livvy Fink is a sculptor living and working in East London. She studied at The Royal College of Art and The University of Brighton, while also learning bohemian kiln cast glass techniques at The School of Applied Arts in Zelezny Brod, Czech Republic. In 2016 she spent time in the School of Physics and Astronomy, speaking to members of each of the four research groups in the School: Astronomy; Particle Physics; Materials Physics and String Theory. Her sculpture is inspired by what she learned and it aims to communicate the wonder of physics as exemplified by all of those research areas.

The G O Jones building is named for Prof. Gwyn Jones, who was Professor of Physics and head of the physics department during the 1950s. His specialist area of research was glass and in 1956 he published a book, simply entitled Glass. Though directed primarily to students of the properties of materials, it is also regarded as a valuable source for artists working with glass.

Image credit: QMUL