Third prize winner artwork of 2022 Nuclear Power Art Contest launched by Generation Atomic and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Exhibited at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in Washington DC, from 26 to 28 October 2022: https://www.iaea.org/events/ministerial-nuclear-power-conference-2022
Framed poster available at: https://shop.generationatomic.org/collections/atomic-art/products/a-star-within-vasily-gogidze
A Star Within
“Fields in an ampler ether, a light more glorious dressed,
Lit evermore with their own bright stars and a sun of their own.”
Virgil. The Aeneid, Book VI
Like any other star, our Sun is a vast nuclear reactor. The elements that make up the human body were formed in stars over the course of billions of years and multiple star lifetimes i.e. galactic chemical evolution. Light itself is a form of electromagnetic radiation.
The amount of free energy contained in nuclear fuel is millions of times larger than in a similar mass of chemical fuel. The clean energy of abundance, nuclear power will enable to not only overcome the climate change, it will break the remaining chains which still tie man to this planet.
From conquering the Earth to conquering the universe - man should not merely endure: he should prevail.
A vision of the green and technologically advanced future, the symbiosis of nature and technology, metaphorically located in the power plant. The background is a desert wasteland as a grim alternative, or by another reading extraterrestrial colonization, hence the surroundings colour.
Solar system is depicted as an atomic model, with the Sun as a nucleus and planets as electrons orbiting it.
In Auguries of Innocence William Blake phrases:
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
The idea of the structure of the universe reflected in the tiniest particles resembles the microcosm–macrocosm analogy referring to a concept of structural similarity between the minute fraction of the matter and the cosmos as a whole, a position among others advanced by Plato in his Timaeus. Another parallel would be a single cell possessing the full set of the DNA of that organism.
The relativity of time, planets and stars warping space-time, curving it around themselves is another theme.
The epigraph of the artwork from Vergil’s Aeneid where the author represents Elysium as a blissful place with everlasting spring and shady groves, lit by its own sun and stars: solemque suum, sua sidera norunt - the mythological and poetic image is transformed into cosmogonic prevision of mankind’s progress of creating its own stars.
The development of fusion power is an earthlier explanation.
In December 2022, a major breakthrough has been announced by US scientists in the race to recreate nuclear fusion. At the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, For the first time in history, scientists had been able to produce more energy from the fusion reaction than it consumes - a milestone known as net energy gain.
Another work “Still Life with Nuclear Terrarium” was chosen for "starred selection" award.
Still Life with Nuclear Terrarium
Reactor cores where atom cores split,
Releasing energy from matter,
Reflecting the fundamental forces of the universe,
There is nothing more natural than nuclear energy.
Nuclear reactor - the Sun giving life to nature on earth is paralleled by the nature thriving in the symbolic egg shape nuclear terrarium. Atomic power protecting its creation - the ecosystem.
An allusion of Garden of Eden giving the forbidden fruit of knowledge. And also, Garden of Hesperides where Heracles picked the golden apples off the tree of life growing at its centre, as one of his labours (In some versions of the myth, he went to Caucasus were Prometheus directed him to the garden. As a payment, Heracles freed bound Prometheus from his torture).
The fruit further symbolising Newtonian apple of scientific discovery is mirrored in the same size molecular model representing atomic structure of all matter, and huge amount of energy what holds the nucleus together.
“Interestingly, we find that Newtonian gravitation singles out some elliptical orbits whose eccentricities are related to the golden ratio conjugate ϕ≈0.618.” Dimitris M. Christodoulou, Golden Elliptical Orbits in Newtonian Gravitation. 2017
Natural cycles of day-night, seasons and astronomical references of elliptical orbits and heavenly bodies are represented by a design based on ellipses, circles and spheres. A space metaphorically represented as a mini universe.
The background landscape depicting the meadows and hills sunken in the vastness of light, rays piercing the serene sky of the awakened dawn of new frontiers and harmonious coexistence of technology with nature, is presented in the spirit of Per Aspera Ad Astra or in this case - Ab Ovo – Ad Astra.
The work can also be viewed as a product design for a terrarium-lamp, or an architectural model.