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MATTHEW GRAY PALMER
Sculpture

Between the Lines

Cast and fabricated Bronze, steel, carved limestone and gold

29" x 26" x 16"

2010

Unique

Private Collection

© 2011 Matthew Gray Palmer Fine Arts

Photo credit - Danielle Dean Palmer

"The image carved into the limestone pages are the trail patterns left by protons, neutrons and electrons as a result of the colliding atoms in a particle accelerator. These patterns are captured in a super cooled chamber of liquefied gas known as a bubble chamber. I chose this image because it demonstrates our accomplishments as observers towards an understanding the universe and our place within it. Even as an image of purely scientific exploration the shapes inspire awe and wonder reminiscent of the great golden mean, geometry of the Gods. As science and faith appear to be converging in similar expressions this image is akin to that of an icon of any religious faith as a vehicle to conjure identification with a higher power or the transcendent mystery source. Just as religious imagery can be concretized into a literal explanation of the spiritual experience so are the images and aims of science, progressing ever further towards what is believed to be a unified theory of everything. I present this image not only as a means for inspiring wonder but also as one that solidifies evidence and thus potentially formulates an obstacle to a true spiritual experience. As it is often said, the final obstruction to the transcendent is the image of God.

With a play on the concept of "splitting" atoms I have split the bubble chamber image opening it like the wings of a butterfly and book matching the image, creating a symmetrical design between the two pages. As the 2 dimensional image on the pages falls open a 3rd dimension of space is produced, that of the void, that which represents what we cannot see and cannot know - the transcendent mystery source.

The raven is poised as the observer and the cause of this paradox, inextricably linked and therefore at one with and a manifestation the transcendent. It is a representation of our cleverness and unwitting ability to turn our curiosity and drive for understanding on its head by discovering an ever-deepening mystery. The more we know, the more we don't know." - MGP

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