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In the Gallery today...

The Art Form. How does a ‘Frizion’ evolve? Thin layers of water are frozen, manipulated, and viewed through polarized light.  Light has wave-like properties, one of which is vibration. Ordinary white light vibrates in many directions, but a polarizing filter blocks all light except that which is vibrating in a single direction.  A polarizing filter is placed on a light table to polarize the light passing through. A petri dish with a thin layer of water in the process of freezing is placed over the filter. As the polarized light passes through the forming ice crystals, it is bent in two slightly different directions and forms two different rays of light. The color palette in the images is created by rotating a second polarizing filter placed over the ice to intercept and resolve these emerging light rays.

The eye and brain combine the mixture of physical colors to produce a striking color impression. I began to control the way the ice grows, into forms I desired, always with color as my guide. Simple forms, detailed and complex forms, and forms that simply happened, as though I imagined them, established my medium.  Ice growth became the landscape, and thickness and the polarizer sheet morphed into my color palette.

The Artist. Dr. Peter Wasilewski, a NASA scientist and Doctorate of Sciences recipient from the University of Tokyo, researched magnetic properties of meteorites, Moon rocks and Earth rocks. Upon graduating from George Washington University, he turned down a tryout for the Baltimore Colts professional football team to participate in an expedition to the world's largest piece of ice - Antarctica. Peter fell in love with the frozen continent and has since gone back on 6 different expeditions over 25 years. During an early exploration near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula Peter trod where no human had set foot before and there stands an ancient volcano that bears his name-Mount Wasilewski. Later expeditions would have him collecting meteorites on the pale blue ice near the Trans-Antarctic mountains.  He would sample this ice and learn about the “color” and shape of the ice crystals that could be seen in thin sections of the ice.

 Peter Wasilewski Artwork