Gail Catlin is the first, and possibly the only artist to use liquid crystal as the principal medium in her art. While Catlin lived in Arniston, she became fascinated by the nacreous quality of sea shells and mother-of-pearl, and was convinced that a new colour spectrum needed to be developed to capture the subtle and ever-changing shades of nature. She experimented with clays and resins and fiberglass, which played with light, when used in sculptural form. She made contact with Dr Cyril Hilsum at General Electric, who had co-invented the hologram, and was a world expert on liquid crystal. He first introduced her to liquid crystal.

Her works have achieved a kind of metastasis —the ability of the artwork to escape fixity and to constantly transform itself like a kaleidoscope. She is probably also one of the first artists to venture into the realm of nanotechnology – the study and manipulation of materials at the molecular level.

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