Jay Tyrrell: Atomic Mirrors


Jay Tyrrell: Atomic Mirrors

Photographer Jay Tyrrell explores the realm of “inner space” through the medium of photography. Inner space, or the world of atoms, remains largely the realm of the imagination. What would the inside of a molecule of glucose look like if you were a micronaut–his term for someone who travels into this landscape? For Tyrrell, atoms of carbon might appear as orange fire; hydrogen, blazing yellow; and oxygen, a glowing green. Atoms of radioactive elements might appear as cold as deep space, without color and with surfaces reflecting energy back into the universe.

Atomic Mirrors is Tyrrell’s imagined universe of atoms combining, colliding, and expanding. During his childhood, Tyrrell read many science-fiction stories and planned to be a scientist, studying molecular chemistry. Textbooks from that era illustrated atoms as balls and the periodic tables as grids. These visual memories shaped the universe he created in his photography. His atoms–pool toys; his periodic tables–mirror facets. Atomic Mirrors reflects Tyrrell’s creative connection to his childhood, as he seeks to artistically expand the idea of the universe and explore the beauty of an imagined atomic landscape.

©2016 by the San Francisco Airport Commission. All rights reserved.

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You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both style and substance, of things and ideas.

–Rod Serling (1924–75)
Introduction to his TV series The Twilight Zone 1959–64

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Thursday, May 26, 2016 to Thursday, August 11, 2016