Into the Crucibles of Nature

Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
30th September 2009

Artists use mathematical models of black holes developed from data taken by space telescopes to give us some idea of what these mysterious objects actually look like. They have produced amazing images of objects which are impossible to perceive and enormously far away from us. But what has been missing are visual representations that evoke their frightening grandeur and the poetry behind them. Towards that goal artist Fiorella Lavado and scientist Arthur I. Miller have been working together, in an artist-scientist collaboration. Together we explore representations of nature that go beyond scientific visualisations.

Black holes can be huge. Every galaxy has one. They can be engines of doom, as well as sources of energy, they may even contain portals to other universes, and also even “sing.” They are a cosmic show unto themselves.

Using ultra-thin wire, Fiorella weaves objects that evoke the basic characteristics of black holes, wormholes and planetary nebulas, drawing them out into different perspectives that show different aspects. Noel Mclaughlin’s photographs set her wire sculptures into motion.

This is our first instalment on the theme of “Weaving the Universe” in which we seek a common language to explore deep space and deep time, out there, many light years away.

Art: Fiorella Lavado
Science: Arthur I. Miller
Photographs: Noel Mclaughlin


Full text pdf (1.6 MB)
Exhibition and lecture pdf (1 MB)


The exhibition and lecture were part of A Journey to the Depths of the Universe, an event organised by the National Observatory of Athens and the French Institute, within the framework of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (International Astronomical Union, IAU).

Admission Free.
30 September 2009, 5–11 p.m.
Benaki Museum, Amphitheatre, 138 Pireos & Andronikou Street, Athens

For further information, please contact Dr. Eleni Xatzixristou:
Telephone: 210 383 6304

Thanks to:

Press and links
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Peru
Benaki Museum
British Council Greece
IFA - Institut Français d'Athènes
Travlos Publishers

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