I use natural processes to produce images which reflect natural phenomena. When working with ink on paper, heat, evaporation, chemical reaction, turbulence etc. are used to build up my images. The resulting pictures therefore reflect natural processes which we see around us.
For the past five years I have been working with ink in water to create vortices and surface tension-driven flow. I photograph sequences of pictures, and have recently started making movies. The resulting images are unique, and may reflect cosmic phenomena or microscopic life forms. The images often have a ‘time-rich’ aspect, for instance by simultaneously showing forms at different states of development, or by containing time-lapse trails showing the pathway of the pigments as they move. My methods, particularly with the surface tension work, have been considered by many to be innovative. Ambiguity is a feature of these pictures, and the viewer’s imaginative contribution completes the creative process.
Publications - full papers
Journal of Visualization 10:2 April 2007, pp.171-178. ‘Hidden Patterns: creating radial spreads of ink in water’
Leonardo 40:5 October 2007 ‘Looking beneath the surface: the radial spread of ink in water’
Journal of Visualization 12:2 April 2009, pp.173-180. ‘Patterns of Ink in Water and Air: creating radial spreads of ink in water’
Some competitions awards, published images and articles
ISFV12, 2006 Electronic Proceedings: ‘Flow visualization of radial spread of ink in water’
Visions of Science and Technology Awards, 2007: Art category runner-up for ‘Jet Travel’ photograph
International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, 2007: Semifinalist honour for ‘Four Dimensions’ photograph
'The Colourist', Society of Dyers and Colourists Issue 4, 2007. Front cover, article: ‘Colourful chronoscapes: going with the flow’
‘Nature’ journal 452, March 2008. ‘Water works’ by Nick Thomas, short feature on my ink/water photography
ISFV13, Nice July 2008. Electronic proceedings: ‘Seeing the third and fourth Dimensions: new work on radial spreads” and awarded 2nd prize for photographic sequence ‘Chain of Events’
‘New Scientist’ Calendar 2009 ‘Density Wave’ photograph, October/front cover.
NSF Visualization Challenge 2009 semifinalist for ‘Bubblezig, Bubblezag’ photograph and video ‘Inksplosions on the Move’
International Aperture Awards 2009 Silver Science and Nature award for ‘Foreground Radiation’ photograph
‘New Scientist’ competition ‘Sampling Darwin’ 2009 - one of five winners for video entitled ‘from so simple a beginning’
A set of my ink/water photography is at Science Photo Library.
A feature story called ‘The Turbulent Art of Pery Burge’ is also available - from Seymour Yang, Features Editor, Science Photo Library