Anima Mundi

Simeon Nelson (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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A series of eight sculptures made of laser-cut plywood and cor-ten steel exhibited and commissioned in England and Australia exploring and honing a visual/spatial language of emergence, relationship and becoming, an interplay at the heart of Whiteheadian process philosophy. In the process view things are events in a world of constant change; the connected and evolving forms in this series explore this idea of continual movement and ever changing relations. Each sculpture is part of a dialogue about what it means to be an entity within a wider system. This dialogue occurs in the sculptures’ physical actuality and in their encounters with audience. The sculptures challenge a dominant presupposition of Western individualism - that the world outside the human subject is devoid of agency. They argue that agency is rippling out again beyond the human and radiating into the world to resume its rightful mantle – the anima mundi.Building on my research over many years into quantum science, chaos theoryand complex systems theory, these works envision a world of interrelated eventsand ceaseless flux. The radiating semi-detached concentric forms of the works radiating over the wall simultaneously demonstrate discontinuity and process, figure and ground, crystalline and fluid. They demonstrate an interplay that explores how anentity distinguishes itself from its context; why it makes no sense to isolate an element from its parent system. I am trying to both isolate particular structures and iconise them into comprehensible imagery while embedding them in their context. The four bas-relief works of the Meiosis series were a £15,000 commission for Guys Hospital Biomedical Research Institute, London 2014. It was developed in consultation with resident researchers and based on key Guys Hospital Biomedical Institute’s research themes, they explore cellular systems and processes involved in disease, including an immune cell arming itself in a lymph gland, a cancer cell dividing, a dendritic neuron growing new branches. They contribute to an argument about becoming and emergence because, being contour maps without imagined solidity, they refute the notion of simple location: an entity as emerging from the flux of process, as an event.Horns of the Dilemma was exhibited at Mossgreen Gallery and the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair in 2015. It rises from the floor in two Fibonacci curves of cor-ten steel. Each iteration of its form becomes closer to the vertical and the golden mean without ever attaining either.
 Moko, Holarchy and Attractor were exhibited in a solo show, Form and Flux at the University of Hertfordshire Galleries in 2019. The elements of Moko may be composed in different ways depending on the space and is like a relief wall drawing or tattoo propagating over the wall. Holarchy builds on Meiosis by exploring branching structures suggesting they are components of a larger network. It radiates out from the wall, its two- tone emphasises optical vibration. Attractor is an interacting two-part system, each element giving rise to the other, each reverberating within the other in dance of attraction and repulsion.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Reverberation, process, non-local, alterity, self, other,


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