Fascinated by string theory as a painting student at Cranbrook, I read The Elegant Universe at the suggestion of my studio mate, Allie Rex. Allie’s work today still seems guided by a merger of science and the natural world. Under the chaotic surface of her drawings on mylar, there is a sense of order in her detailed, visual loopholes.
While reading The Elegant Universe in my studio, I would often find myself jumping up from my chair to start a drawing mid-thought. I would try to capture a sense of multiple dimensions and deep universal connections even if my abstract work resembled Songlines, or Dreaming Tracks, more than strings. I’m grateful to my now worn-out copy of Brian Greene’s book for synthesizing and describing superstring theory in layman’s terms without downplaying the beauty and intensity.
Digging beneath the surface is what drives my work. It’s what makes me devise new ways to torture my young protagonist in my work-in-progress novel. It’s what keeps me anchored to Turkey, too, this thought that the deeper I did into the language and culture, the more I will connect with the pulse that makes this corner of the world so vibrant and electric.
The combination of several seemingly-unrelated things can mix the perfect cocktail for creativity.
This week I’m going to pick up The Elegant Universe again, thread a needle to make miniature x’s on cotton fabric, and read The Definitive Book of Body Language to help make the characters in my novel more dimensional.
How about you?