More on Simon Charter

Go to his Ebb and Flow Website

Development of Flowforms

Flowform vessels allow the water flowing through them to develop sustained rhythmic flow. This is due purely to the shape of the vessel.

The shaped surfaces of the forms act sympathetically upon the water in them, generating swinging or pulsing movements. This occurs even though the water enters in a steady flow. The process can be compared to the creation of rhythmic air movement and hence the sound in a wind instrument. Development of these forms often requires much experimentation – the shape of any one design of Flowform may take months or even years to perfect. It really is like tuning an instrument.

There is a spectrum of possibilities for the expression of rhythmic flow. Many different designs have been made in order to explore this spectrum, some very elegant and artistically satisfying forms, some more functional. So the Flowform work can be seen from the artistic side as the unfolding of this range of water sculptures embodying the same idea in aesthetically varied ways.    Finish reading on his site...

Flowform Principles

John Wilkes, a trained sculptor, had been working with water for several years searching for ways to enhance it through flow over surfaces generated through projective geometry. This was done in conjunction with George Adams who had revealed the geometry within natural form, and Theodor Schwenk a scientist working with a phenomenological approach to water.

Although water usually flows in an asymmetric way, John decided to investigate how water would respond when presented with symmetrical forms, as living organisms often develop symmetrically. Almost immediately he found rhythmic flow arising. Later investigation showed that to develop rhythm it was a question of finding a double bowl of appropriate proportions for a given flow speed and with the appropriate measure of resistance. The water needs to meet itself within the form and there needs to be a suitable space to allow a dynamic movement to develop. Within the double bowl this flow can have a lemniscatory (figure of eight) form. A research colleague, Dr Philip Kilner, went on to discover that rhythmic flow could also happen within a single bowl. This is very similar to the development of rhythmic flow in the bloodstream of a developing embryo prior to the formation of the heart. Philip returned to the medical world where he continues to work in the realm of heart flow dynamics.  Finish reading on his site...

Simon Charter has also taken an interest in the forming properties of water and their connection to the forms seen in living organisms (following the work of Theodor Schwenk). Projective Geometry is also able to show this connection and he has recently begun to work more intensely with this, sensing it may be the key to an understanding of many otherwise baffling phenomena in the life realm.

 In 2012 he completed a masters of education on the Flowform idea and where he researched the way students learnt through observing and engaging creatively with the element of water, allowing an active conversation to reveal its inherent nature. Since then, he has used this Goethean approach in collaborative workshops on water and many other subjects in the field of Natural Science.  Below find some highlights from his Ebb & Flow website.