Liliane Lijn: In conversation with UCL Professor Brian Butterworth & Dr Andrew Westphal
Liliane Lijn’s work as an artist is primarily concerned with light in its relation to matter. The physicist David Bohm, (1917-1992) described matter as ‘frozen or condensed light’ and saw the world of matter and the experience of consciousness as complementary aspects of a more fundamental process he called the implicate order . Lijn believes that as an artist, she explores the outside world with one eye and the inner with another, world and self, matter and consciousness. Her work is both mathematical in its use of geometric forms while simultaneously involving archetypes and a continuing obsession with time and memory.
As the result of an ACE, NASA, Leonardo Network Fellowship, she has in the last two years been able to work with Aerogel, the fragile and ethereal material used by the NASA Stardust Project to capture both coma and interstellar dust. She describes her recent work as a metaphorical dialogue with Stardust Project Director Andrew Westphal and his quest in search of ‘cosmic fossils’.
Dr Andrew Westphal is a physicist and Asstistant Director of the Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley. He is the Director of the Stardust@home Project that has captured and brought to Earth the very first contemporary interstellar dust grains for study. He has been quoted as saying: "Stardust is not only the first mission to return samples from a comet, it is the first sample return mission from the galaxy. The fundamental point is that we ultimately are made of this stuff -- 'stardust' from the interstellar medium.”
Professor Butterworth, who has known both Lijn and her work for at least 20 years, will be asking Lijn to explain how she has woven the threads of Light, Memory and Matter into the fabric of her oeuvre.
Liliane Lijn was born in New York City, studied Art History and Archeology in Paris and lives in London. Her work has been exhibited internationally since the 1960’s and is represented in numerous important collections, including MOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum.
In 2005, Liliane Lijn: 1959-80 was held at the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, touring to the Djanogly Gallery inNottingham. The exhibition was accompanied by a monograph by Prof. David Allan Mellor. In the same year, Lijn spent 3 months as the first artist in residence at the Space Sciences Laboratory at U.C. Berkeley. This Arts Council International Fellowship led to her ongoing collaboration with astrophysicist Dr John Vallerga to create Solar Hills, a solar installation in the landscape that defines the horizon with points of light. It also inspired a dialogue with the NASA funded Stardust Mission. Stardust, the exhibition of her recent work with Aerogel, is now showing at the Riflemaker Gallery in London.