Approved: 14.09.2011

Melanie K

Artist, Maker, Curator, Event organiser

Archived
Approved: 14.09.2011

The main focus of my research at Central Saint Martins was of the soap bubble. In 17th Century Dutch Vanitas paintings, the bubble was used as a visual metaphor to remind the viewer of the transient nature of life. The soap bubble exists for just a couple of seconds, a perfect sphere, reflecting and refracting its surroundings beautifully. Due to the dryness of the air surrounding the soap bubble,

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  • Location: London
  • Activities: Residencies, Workshops, Curating, Events management, Photographic documentation
  • Categories: Curatorial, Photography, Printmaking
  • Tags: alternative photography, space, cosmology, central saint martins, art and science, neuroscience, glass blowing, vanitas
 

Biography

The main focus of my research at Central Saint Martins was of the soap bubble. In 17th Century Dutch Vanitas paintings, the bubble was used as a visual metaphor to remind the viewer of the transient nature of life. The soap bubble exists for just a couple of seconds, a perfect sphere, reflecting and refracting its surroundings beautifully. Due to the dryness of the air surrounding the soap bubble, and the pull of gravity, the bubble eventually bursts. It was almost as if the bubble never existed. The Dutch artists of the Golden Age, likened the existence of life to the every-day phenomena of the soap bubble, and now with superior knowledge of the universe we can draw more comparisons. From looking at the universe, we have discovered that life has only inhabited a tiny portion of the entirety of time and space, and is therefore incredibly precious. Alike the soap bubble, life exists for a (relatively) short time, before it 'pops' out of existence. The idea of 'life as a bubble' holds weight in scientific arenas, as in contemporary cosmological theory, scientists often compare cosmological happenings to bubbles and foam. The idea spans from inflation theory, to multiverse theory - the idea that the universe exists as one bubble universe in a sea of cosmic foam. In this constellation Cassiopeia, there sits a Bubble Nebula which measures over six light-years across, having been blown by cosmic winds. This idea even extends to quantum science relating to the birth of the universe, as some scientists believe that the universe exists as a quantum fluctuation from nothing, something that can be easily understood by watching a soap bubble emerge and then disappear within a matter of seconds. More recently, I have been researching embryology inspired by the work of the late Helen Chadwick, and have been contemplating "life as a bubble" on a microscopic level. We start life as a collection of permeable round cells slowly growing within an amniotic sac which provides us everything we need to survive within the womb. Outside of the womb, we may consider our very consciousness as a bubble, a concept which has been explored by the writer Peter Sloterdijk in his book "Bubbles; Microspherology".

CV & Education

Founder of the London Alternative Photography Collective.

Co-Founder / Curator of Space Is Ace.

Artist In Residence at The Double Negative Darkroom.

Work Experience: The Arts Catalyst and The Photography and The Archive Research Centre, University of the Arts London.

Education

MA Art and Science, Central Saint Martins, 2011 - 2013

BA Fine Art, Leeds College of Art, 2008 - 2011

Short Courses

Glassblowing, Aaronson Noon Studios, 2013

Daguerreotype,Christopher Brenton West, 2013

Alternative Photography Processes, Central Saint Martins, 2012

Talks

Photo Forum, Calumet, 10th April 2014. http://www.photo-forum.org/

Exhibitions

Photogram Open 2014, Urmson-Burnett Gallery, Salisbury, January - February 2014. In association withSilverprint.

Art Box Festival, The Victoria, Birmingham, 18th January 2014.

Residents Exhibition, Double Negative Darkrooms, London, 7th December 2013.

NESTA, 1 Plough Place, September 2013 - March 2014. Private View: 22nd November 2013.

Material Light, Pureland in association with The University of Westminster, London, 7th November 2013.

The Shoreditch Fashion Show, ÖffBeat, Oval Space, London, 12th October 2013. 

Space Is Ace, Doomed Gallery, London, 03rd October 2013.

Not A Drop, 47 - 49 Tanner St, London, September 2013 

Degree Show One, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, May 2013

Fine Art Auction 2012, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, November 2012

It'll Never Work, Nexus, Manchester, Autumn 2012, Manchester Science Festival 2012.

A Nervous Encounter, The Old Fire Station Gallery, Oxford, 5th-20th October 2012.

SCAN.IT, Gallery40, Brighton, 16th-20th August 2012.

Experiments, Byam Shaw, London, 23 - 25th May 2012.

Little Benefits, Cultivate, Vyner Street, London, 20th - 30th October 2011.

The Golden Ratio, Nexus, Manchester, Autumn 2011, Manchester Science Festival 2011.

Free Range, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, July 2011.

Educational Workshops

Pinhole Camera Workshop with Madaleine Trigg, Swiss Cottage Library, Camden New Wave Festival, Oct 2013.

Thermal Workshop, Something & Son, The Arts Catalyst, Hackney New School, Dalston, Oct 2013.

Cyanotype Workshop, White Square Awards Evening, Central Saint Martins, June 2013

Cyanotype Workshop, MA Art & Science Symposium; States of Matter, Central Saint Martins, May 2013.

Cyanotype Workshop, The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, July 2012.

Bubble Painting Workshop, V22 Summer Club, London, May 2012.

Breath Drawing, Invisible Dust, Colvestone Primary School, Dalston, May 2012.

Paper Architecture Workshop, Emily Speed, Kettlethorpe High School, Wakefield, July 2010.

Clay Owl Making, Leeds Owl Trail, Leeds Art Gallery, May 2010.

Awards

Nominee for The Lowe & Partners NOVA Award 2013.