Rowena Hughes’s Elasticity, Fracture & Flow is a form of palimpsest, superimposing extracts from a scientific text to write a form of concrete poetry. Each phrase is extracted from the text on the page directly beneath, attempting to unearth the affective or aesthetic content from a supposedly objective scientific text — within even the driest most technical texts there are phrases that evoke visual, emotional or sensual experiences.
Hughes’s book was chosen for its title – Elasticity, Fracture & Flow – referring to properties of matter, qualities of language as well as states of mind — the dry rationality of physics and the hot liquid of emotion. It has a motif of a twisted loop recurring in many permutations and layered with elements of drawing, a process moving backwards and forwards between the digital and analogue using an interplay of intention and chance, a creative freedom within constraints.
She has been making this series of bookworks since 2008, finding old physics textbooks, removing each page and then printing or drawing on to each page before rebinding them in the original cover. This is the first time she has reproduced one of these unique books as a small edition.
Rowena Hughes’s book works have been exhibited at Belmacz, the ICA, IMT, BreeseLittle galleries in London, Gebruder Lehmann Berlin, Arch Athens and Fotogalerie Vienna amongst others. Her sculptural work was recently on view as part of inaspettatamente (Unexpectedly) at Cloud Seven in Brussels, works from the Frédéric de Goldschmidt’s collection curated by the ghost of Alighiero Boetti.
Elasticity, Fracture & Flow by Rowena Hughes
Cloth-bound, hardcover, full colour, 168pp
140 x 204 mm
Printed in an edition of 150