Art and Air - Excited Oxygen

Air: Life is a Gas, Art & Science 2022

Woven Aurora after a photo taken by our local museum's director Ian Griffin in Dunedin and tuition by my personal paleomagnetist and artist-colleague Faye Nelson Installation with the help of Sam Patrick

App. 100 x 80 cm

Hand woven on 24 shaft AVL compu-dobby loom

wool, glow-in-the-dark polyester, linen, merino possum, time, light

"Auroras are sub-polar neon crowns signaling 'life exists here', Auroras require three components: solar plasma, a planetary magnetic field, and atmospheric gases. Solar plasma hits the magnetosphere enveloping and protecting Earth's atmosphere; charged particles then spiral down magnetic field lines and penetrate Earth's atmosphere, exciting atmospheric gases. As the excited gases relax, they emit visible light." The light emitted by oxygen is green.

Special photography by Steve Ting