Mixed Media, 2011 - 2013
Metaphors in Art and Science - The Bubble as a Metaphor for the Brevity of Life
My Masters thesis at Central Saint Martins was focused on the subject of the bubble as a metaphor for the brevity of life.
In 17th Century Dutch Vanitas paintings, the soap bubble was used as a visual metaphor to remind the viewer of the transient nature of life. The soap bubble exists for just a couple of seconds, a perfect sphere, reflecting and refracting its surroundings beautifully. Due to the dryness of the air surrounding the soap bubble, and the pull of gravity, the bubble eventually bursts. It was almost as if the bubble had never existed.
The Dutch Vanitas artists of The Golden Age, likened the existence of life to the every-day phenomena of the soap bubble, and now with a superior knowledge of the universe we can draw more comparisons. From looking at the universe, we have discovered that life has only inhabited a tiny portion of the entirety of time and space, and is therefore incredibly precious.
Alike the soap bubble, life exists for a (relatively) short amount of time, before it ‘pops’ out of existence.