Fermi National Laboratory

In Search of Meaning
by Lylie Fisher

In Search of Meaning project began through inspiration. On first viewing images from Bubble Chamber experiments I was drawn to the elegant nature of the bubble tracks as they cut across the bare space. Each of these tracks form unique territories, some curved, others angular, many spiraled.

With the support of the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), I viewed thousands of images that resulted from particle physics experiments conducted in the early 1960's. These experiments occurred in an era of considerable social upheaval, as concepts of power and liberation became fluid. SLAC enlarged eleven experiments for this project, these were printed onto black and white photo archival paper. Working with traditional painting techniques, acrylic paints and gels, I applied paint to the raw black and white print. My quest was to communicate the emotional power of these images and transcend the raw data.

The international physics journal Symmetry featured the project in its December 2006 issue.

"For artist Lylie Fisher, particle physics is much more than a field of science. It is art: Like art, particle physics deals with the invisible," says Fisher. "One portrays emotional and spiritual experiences; the other studies unseen matter and energy.
Fisher uses her art to reveal a hidden beauty and meaning in particle physics experiments. "My quest is to draw out the intrinsic beauty of the occurrences, and allow the images to breathe beyond the scientific realm," she says. Using layers of resins, pigments, and varnishes, Fisher can transform a flat, abstract-looking print into a work of art with depth, color, and texture. The finished pictures glisten like burnished membranes; the particle tracks appear to float over a richly-textured background."

As an artist my passion is to delve into the unspoken spiritual and emotional metaphors of these images. The rich colors and paint textures are a meditation on particle and string theories, and notions of parallel dimensions of reality. For me, this depth of color represents the intellectual and emotion space we inhabit.
The final images are a tribe, their unique color palette communicating spiritual, philosophical ponderings and character.

Lylie Fisher

All images on this website are copyrighted by the artist or Fermilab. No image may be reproduced, downloaded, or electronically manipulated without the express written permission of the artist.

last modified 5/31/2007   
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