Order Structure Pattern Exhibition Opens

26 August 2013

A collaboration between an artist and a physicist has resulted in an impressive installation made from thousands of metres of rope, extension cords and cable ties.

Artist Gabby O’Connor was inspired by theoretical physicist Professor Shaun Hendy’s study into innovation, and the complex geometric patterns in networks of people, companies and ideas he has found by using computers to examine millions of inventions.

Gabby says she frequently takes inspiration from science and the natural world for her art.

“Luckily, much of Shaun's research is presented visually, which was a good departure point, but I was mindful of not trying to replicate these depictions exactly. After reading and digesting what I could from Shaun's writing and from books and from conversations about complexity, I started to trial different ways of representing this information.”

The installation takes up much of Toi Pōneke’s gallery space, using 2000-plus metres of rope and extension cords plus over 10,000 cable ties.

“For me it was all about connections and pathways. But the title order, structure, pattern, which is a definition of complexity theory, also resonates with me as a description of my methodology or process of making.”

Shaun commissioned Gabby to make order, structure, pattern after he won the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication prize last year. They met each other in 2011 working on an arts and science television programme.

“I have had Shaun on hand to answer questions and to see if my crazy experiments resonate with how he sees his research. It is a really wonderful opportunity for both of us to expand our respective audiences and for me to extend my practice.”

order, structure, pattern opens on Thursday 29 August and follows the launch of Shaun’s new book Get Off The Grass.

“We have both enjoyed trespassing into each others' discipline and hope to work together again. The timing has also been good for Shaun, in that it comes only a few weeks after the launch of his book, Get Off the Grass, which attempts to explain a lot of his work to the general public.”

order, structure, pattern runs from 30 August until 14 September at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street. There is an opening at 5.30pm on 29 August.