Crossing the Equator

“From my youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until this day....Wherever on earth a ship has been, I have been. I have spoken and treated with learned men, priests, and laymen, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many men of other faiths. The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and He bestowed upon me courage and understanding: knowledge of seafaring He gave me in abundance, of astrology as much as was needed, and of geometry and astronomy likewise. Further, He gave me joy and cunning in drawing maps and thereon cities, mountains, rivers, islands, and harbors, each one in its place. I have seen and truly I have studies all books – cosmographies, histories, chronicles and philosophies, and other arts, for which our Lord unlocked my mind, and sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” - Christopher Columbus

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A Series of Serendipitous Discoveries (2009)
Dimensions: variable, mixed media

Indeterminacy Principle (2007)
Dimensions: 3m x 3m x 1.5m, mixed media

Perhaps some of the most well known and epic voyages to happen in history were those of Marco Polo, Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus. All these explorers, among others, have intensively surveyed and mapped unknown lands across the world, undertaking studies of all kinds including observational studies of cultural practices, plant and animal life, astronomy and many geological studies. Looked at in the most positive light, these voyages helped to make sense of our world, they created opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas taking place through trade, specimen collection and scientific exploration.  From these activities, many great developments in our scientific and cultural understanding have occurred and shaped our world-view.  

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Work in progress (2009)

Discovery Channel: Mt Vesuvious/Space Shuttle Endevour (2007)
Dimensions: 6m x 1.2m x 0.25m, mixed media

In true explorer spirit my own epic journey will be a reinterpretation, or perhaps extrapolation of these great voyages, including travel and discovery that is both real and imagined, that is as much perception as it is observation.  In this sense, the voyage can be seen as a projection or mapping out of the thought process and contain its own logic and reasoning for directing its pathway. It represents a mode of thought that is subject to its own discovery and to the circumstances and conditions of its environment.

Retracing the steps of these great explorers with scientific endeavour will not be an attempt to find what they have observed, but to create a new understanding of these observations through a contemporary re-vision. The focus of this project is to explore ideas of reinterpretation through subjective experience, and to understand how this in turn becomes understood as a system of thought, a logic that can be experienced objectively.

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Footnotes (2007)
Dimensions: 4m x 4m, mixed media

The Gordian Knot (2009)
Dimensions variable, mixed media

Clare Peake

See samples of Clare's writing on the writing page.

For more information visit:
Clare's Website

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