The requirements for this commission were quite specific. Two murals, to be sited on a cross
channel French ferry, had to address the theme of ‘Galaxy’ (‘Galaxie’) and the colours were
restricted to blues, turquioses, and black, with a bit of pink allowed if necessary.
Since a galaxy is almost completely made up of empty space, designing the composition was
difficult. Eventually I decided to illustrate some of the forces and forms of energy from which the
universe is created, i.e. gravity and light in the form of electro-magnetic waves. In this mural, the
criss-crossing bands of colour represent the rays of light which emanate from stars, radiation which
ranges in size from radio waves to X-rays and is bent and shaped by intervening bodies in space.
Gravity is represented by the curved light paths because it is due to the action of gravity on
light that the rays deviate from their straight course. The silver stars in the mural (made from silver foil)
very schematically stand for all the millions of suns in the Milky Way and the spiral shows
the path taken by the stars as the galaxy is formed.
Jewlery enamel on Steel-1900 x 1200 mm
Pat Johnson © 1997-2007