Sue Anderson. Source. Charcoal and liquid graphite on paper.

Sue Anderson is an artist and originator of Lynchpin, a new project that relates to Living Data. Our projects share the common purpose of connecting scientific and aesthetic ways of understanding climate change. One of the scientists who worked with So Kawaguchi on his discovery of krill sex in Antarctica (last year) gave her my contact details. After several days of intense conversation (by phone and Email), she sends this image. I can’t get out of my head the sense of it embodying a Great Beginning that in turn leads to more beginnings … like the beginnings of Lynchpin and Living Data, and new understandings that begin to emerge from our relationship. These understandings will be articulated in time. For now I recognise a relationship between Source and Mary E. White’s first summary of The Big Picture Story: First living cells. I invite Sue to contribute her work to the story and she accepts. She explains how the image evolved, as if spontaneously from dreaming.

As I reflectively/meditatively allowed the images to emerge or be coaxed from the spontaneous pours of carbon and pigment scatters – I found it was a deep process, or inward dreaming almost, searching for a way of expressing the fundamental elements – now drowning in our carbons which I represented by the charcoal and liquid graphite.

The meaning of Source defies logic.

I am reading a book by Bryan Appleyard. He writes,

Works of art are as complex as human beings and yet, in our left-brain world, we are determined to reduce them to pseudo-scientific categories.The really strange thing about this idea is, [Ian] McGilchrist says, the fact that the left brain has almost no direct contact with the outside world, it orders and categorises rather that feels or experiences. It draws information from the right brain rather than from the world. A left-brain view of a work of art tends to be emotionless and removed from the direct sensuous experience. (Appleyard 2011 p.80)

Appleyard explains that ‘the right-left division of the brain has penetrated popular consciousness’, despite the opinion of many scientists that this is over-simplification. However he believes that the idea is useful as a ‘metaphor, a way of understanding real changes in the world rather than an accurate description of the causes’. The mind, it seems to him, ‘can alter its world picture to the point where we can no longer be sure of our connection to the real’.

The flyleaf of Appleyard’s book reads, ‘Part memoir, part reportage, part cultural analysis, The Brain is Wider than the Sky is a lyrical evocation of what humans can be and a dire warning about what we may become’.

I issue an INVITATION to other artists to contribute to making sense of The Big Picture Story.


Appleyard, B. (2011) The Brain is wider than the Sky London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson

About Lisa Roberts

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