Ripple-Marked Radiance (after Hertha Ayrton)

Yelena Popova's tapestry Ripple-Marked Radiance (after Hertha Ayrton), for the Storey's Field Community Centre is the final chapter in the first phase of public art commissions for the North West Cambridge Development. It celebrates human invention, exemplified through a reading of the work of pioneering scientist Hertha Ayrton.

'a single ripple, existing alone, in otherwise smooth sand, initiates a ripple on either side of it, that each of these ripples produces another on its farther side-these in turn originate on their farther sides, and so on, till the whole sand is ripple-marked.' - Hertha Ayrton, The Origin and Growth of Ripple-mark, 1904

The energy of the ripple, lightwaves and electrons that were Ayrton's tools of work form a powerful metaphor for the energy of a new community at Eddington – home to many of the staff and researchers contributing to the production of knowledge at the University. As does Ayrton herself, whose courage in pursuing scientific research in a largely male-dominated field provides inspiration for young women to think of science as a career for them. This seems an entirely fitting response for Eddington's central gathering place – a place of inspiration, community and collaboration.

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Yelena Popova

Yelena Popova was born in the USSR and lives and works in Nottingham where she has a studio at Pri…

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