What’s in a name? Juliet opines “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Yet the naming of an art work often feels daunting. It isn’t unusual for me to name and rename a piece several times during its making. Most names come to me when I am writing my morning pages. So it is with the latest incarnation for my water piece, now known as Bathtub Vortex.
Where does Bathtub Vortex come from? It is an homage to my father. He was a professor of mechanical engineering, specializing in surface tension and fluid dynamics. One of his sabbaticals focused on proving the bathtub vortex theory. The vortex is the direction the mini cyclone swirls when the bathtub is drained. Theoretically, it spins in the direction the earth spins, or clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. In order to prove this, there needs to be no interference of air current or water current. It had been proven in the northern hemisphere. My father proved it in the southern hemisphere.
What is it like to have a father who was captivated by the mini cyclones in a sink, water drops dancing across a hot frying pan, and water insects literally walking on water? As a child, it could be frustrating. It wasn’t unusual to be brushing one’s teeth and have my father interrupt to watch the way the water was flowing from the tap, when all I wanted to do was spit and rinse. As an adult, looking back, the lesson I learned was to observe the world around me. This is a place where scientists and artists intersect. Another is our drive for experimentation.
What drives you? Do you think the title of an artwork is important and why?
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.