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Infinity Blue

At almost 9 metres tall and weighing 20 tonnes, Blue (Infinity Blue) is an immersive installation that pays homage to the cyanobacteria, one of the world’s smallest living beings. Around 3 billion years ago, cyanobacteria first developed oxygenic photosynthesis. In doing so, they changed the nature of our planet. The sculpture is a monument to their vital creation, which continues to provide the oxygen in every breath we take.

On the surface of the monument, Cornish clay and oxide glazes reflect local mining history. The textural pattern on the ceramic tiles are generated by reaction-diffusion algorithm found in nature from zebras to coral. From the sculpture, 32 vortex cannons fire smoke rings whose scents tell a layered history of the earth’s atmosphere. Studio Swine collaborated with Paris perfume house Givaudan to develop fragrances inspired by the aromas of primordial worlds.

It is the centrepiece of Invisible Worlds, a major new permanent exhibition that reveals the untold and unseen stories of our planet beyond our senses: too big, too small, too fast, too slow and too far away in space and time.

Blue has been created by the acclaimed duo Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers), Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves.

The spectacular new structure contains 32 cannons which project scented vapour rings into the exhibition space of the newly-renovated Core education building.

On the surface of the work, deep blue clay and oxide glazes reflect local mining history and the necessity for oxygen in the process. The textural pattern on the ceramic tiles emerges from an algorithm based on reaction-diffusion systems found in creatures from zebras to coral.

Studio Swine said: “Around three billion years ago, cyanobacteria first developed oxygenic photosynthesis. In doing so, they changed the nature of our planet. In the same way that artists of the past would depict the sacred, our sculpture ∞ Blue gives physicality to the invisible elements our existence depends on; our breathable atmosphere, microbial life and deep time.”

The scent of the vapour tells a layered, 4.5 billion-year history of the atmosphere. Studio Swine collaborated with Paris-based perfume house Givaudan to develop fragrances inspired by the installation, using the aromas of primordial worlds as a starting point for new sensual experiences. 

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