Kelvin’s 200th Anniversary Marked in Art

Gregor Harvie, 'The light universe'
Gregor Harvie, 'The light universe'

From: 8 Jun 2024

To: 15 Jun 2024

Advanced Research Centre, The University of Glasgow
St Mungo Square
Glasgow & the Clyde Valley
G11 6EW

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An installation at the University of Glasgow marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of celebrated mathematical physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin. Comprising two large paintings by artist Gregor Harvie, who lives and works in the city and on the island of Cumbrae, the installation will open to the public 8th – 15th June as part of the Glasgow Science Festival, and will reopen to the public 25th June to 9th July.

Gregor Harvie, 'The dark universe'
Gregor Harvie, ‘The dark universe’

William Thomson, aka the First Baron Kelvin, was Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University for 53 years, and is famous chiefly for developing the international system of absolute temperature that bears his name.

Harvie, who has a scientific background, approached the University’s Quantum Theory Group in 2023 with a view to collaborating on the piece. He used computer modelling to construct thousands of ‘Kelvin cells’, creating an intricate lattice to form the basis of two highly-patterned paintings – representing the ‘light universe’ – the physical and knowable – and the ‘dark universe’, about which we know almost nothing, apart that it exists. Videos and more about Harvie’s and Kelvin’s work can be viewed here.

Gregor Harvie
Gregor Harvie

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