Red I

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Red, 2017, porcelain 28 x 15 cm

Physicists say that the universe can be traced back to a beginning and each of our bodies to high mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it, born from its dust, and formed by God’s hand. 1] Perhaps it is therefore not so strange to look for the symmetry between a photon of red light landing on an atom and that passionate man called Red.

When a stream of light falls on a metal atom, some light is absorbed into the electromagnetic field of that atom to energize electrons to higher orbital states. But some of the light is not needed and is reflected away from the atom. It is this reflection of light that we see as colour.

Iron Oxide is Red. My mind sees the reflection of excess light bouncing off the Iron Oxide atom as Red. It means that Red has left the atom and that the light absorbed by the atom cannot be seen, because we can’t see deep into the heart of the atom. If we could, I think it would be the color of warm umber because that is the color that is brought to the surface when Iron Oxide is painted on a ceramic pot and kiln fired to 1260 degrees.

Red is therefore not itself at all.

I know Red. He is a passionate man whose blood pumps red in his veins. He would do anything for you. Engage in toxic toil for you, wear a mask and lose his soul for you. He sits up in his leaves and says – this  is not who I am


  1. Tyson N.D, Goldsmith D, 2014, Origins, fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution. 1st ed.

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