Francois Morellet

To celebrate his 90th birthday, The Mayor Gallery is showing "Les Regles du Jeu" by Francois Morellet.  The work pictured was made by marking out four sets of lines each rotated 22.5 degrees from the next.  The result is a dynamical feeling of rain falling on water.  These highly constrained images are playful and touching and each encourages the viewer to discover the simple relations giving rise to the complexity, asking them maybe, to think like a scientist.


Diatoms are algae, tiny single cell creatures found in pools and ponds and oceans. They are enclosed in a cell wall of silica which are mostly bilaterally symmetric.  Though there is a slight asymmetry, so that one side might fit inside the other.

Remarkably they produce dimethyl sulfide which then forms tiny sulfate aerosols which are among the tiny particles that encourage water vapour to condense in our skies and fall as rain.  It is a beautiful idea that through this process these tiny creatures call the water that has escaped them back to earth.

Since Victorian times, we've been arranging these tiny creatures.  The middle three images are by a person called W M Grant.  I am particularly partial to his or her arrangements.

Festival Pattern Group

The Festival Pattern Group worked with scientists to make new designs inspired by science for the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Twenty-eight manufacturers took part in the Festival of Britain's Festival Pattern Group, which used diagrams of atomic structure to provide design inspiration. 80 designs were produced in all, including glass, ceramics, metal, plastics, textiles and wallpaper.  

FP Group Boric Acid.jpg
FP Group 2.jpg