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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Geo-Holidays!

Welcome to the second issue of my blog/webzine.
I was thinking to prepare a monographic post, but then I changed my mind after a relaxing afternoon...winter holidays style!

Few things compare to a crackling fire in the middle of winter. I sat in the armchair with a good book in my hands. Warm music playing softly. After some time, I enjoyed delicious home style cookies, while admiring a colorful painting with warm, colorful tones. It was time to prepare a hot chocolate and move on the sofa for a film.

You might ask "what is the relationship between your afternoon and geologic art?".
The book was "Raptor Red" by Robert Bakker, the music was "Primordial Sludge" by the Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, the painting was "Road Cutting at Charlwood" by John Jackson, and the movie was Disney's "Fantasia"...that's the recipe for a geoartistic holiday-time!

(The trilobite is a winter holidays version of the Haeckelbite, a sculpture that I created for the last UNESCO exhibition in Lisbon. Check it out here!)

Robert Bakker and his Raptor Red

Robert Bakker has a place of relevance in GeoArt.
Indeed Bakker is a paleontologist who reshaped modern theories about dinosaurs, supporting the theory that some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. He also illustrated these theories by realizing magnificent drawings of dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs, alive and kicking, appear also in Bakker's “Raptor Red”, a paleontological novel centred on Utahraptor. “Raptor Red” is set in the Cretaceous and deals with the (extra) ordinary life of a dinosaur. The work sparked many disputes, particularly regarding its scientific bases (Norman, 1996). Nevertheless... it is worth to read!

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

The Birdsongs of the Mesozoic evoke geology right from the gorgeous covers of their albums, and they deal with many branches of Earth sciences. They cite tectonics (“Faultline”), pyroclastic flows (“Pyroclastics”), geochronology (“Triassic Jurassic Cretaceous”), general geology (“Sonic Geology”), geochemistry (“The Iridium Controversy”) and much more. The band plays psychedelic music, stirring classical music, rock and jazz. Moreover, their album covers are true works of GeoArt. It is worthwile to visit their website, full of media to explore!

John Jackson

John Jackson's vibrant aesthetics magnificently illustrates how geology can be expressed by art. For instance, his painting "Road Cutting at Charlwood" depicts the geologic features of a roadcut nearby his home. This work has an abstract atmosphere but then it reveals a sort of "geologic expressionism". In fact many geological features emerge gradually from Jackson's colorful kaleidoscopic visions: igneous intrusions, coal seams and a series of climate-related sedimentary deposits.
Who is John Jackson? John Jackson is a geologist who travelled throughout the world: Australia, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, South and West Africa and Uganda. Now he is transmitting his geological knowledge on large sheets of calico by creating artistic representations of geology. As the artist himself states, John’s art bridges the gap between people and the earth. Give look to "The Rock Doctor's World" to know more about his art!

Disney's Fantasia

"Fantasia" is one of the most poetic movies ever produced by Walt Disney. It features animation, classical music and no dialogue (except for brief introductory sections). The "Rite of the Spring" sequence depicts the evolution of life on earth, from the beginning of simple life forms up to the dinosaurs and their extinction. Music is by Igor Stravinsky.