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Everything is Connected: Christine Romanell

August 11 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Christine Romanell was born in Paterson, NJ. Her work focuses on non repating patterns referencing math, science and non Eucldian geometry. She sets up systems of interference that generate new forms, mixing interactions such as diffracted light, orthographic string projections, and rhombic tiling in sculpture, installation and painting.

“Everything is Connected” at 1978 Arts Center is her first solo show in NJ. Her work has been exhibited in various venues throughout the United States, including: Bg Gallery, (Santa Monica, CA) First Street Gallery (NYC), ArtPrize 7 (Grand Rapids , MI), Chashama, (NYC), MagnanMetz Gallery, (NYC), The Affordable Art Fair, (NYC), CWOW, (Newark, NJ), PES, (Newark, NJ), Woman Made Gallery, (Chicago, IL), Fuse Art Infrastructure, (Allentown, PA), 14th Colony Show, (Salisbury, CT), and George Segal Gallery, (Montclair, NJ). She graduated with a BFA from The School of Visual Arts, (NYC), and MFA from Montclair State University, (Montclair, NJ). She received an NEA Grant for her installation done for Chashama in NYC in 2015. The artist currently lives and works in the NYC area.

What happens if a pattern doesn’t repeat but has long range order? My work investigates non-repeating patterns in paintings, light sculptures and installations. The source material for the endless permutations in my work come from the properties of self-similarity, meaning the same form at different scales. Fractals are the most common example of self-similarity. Less common are quasicrystal patterns which use rotational symmetry with a complicated set of rules to achieve self-similarity. The repetition of difference is a means of transformation. Descriptive and evocative, pattern is an imitation of the infinite. 

My work seeks to reveal connections between a variety of disciplines – material science, astrophysics, mathematics, and medieval Islamic Architecture. In the 1980s, the quasicrystal, an aluminum magnesium alloy, was accidentally created in a lab. That same material was then discovered in a meteorite in the 1990s. Quasicrystals are somewhere between a crystalline and amorphous substance that use the same five-fold rotation symmetry also found in the mathematical Penrose tiling. The Penrose tiling, discovered in the 1970s, fills a flat plane with no gaps, using two rhomb shapes and never repeats. Some aspects of medieval Islamic tile design were based on five-fold and ten-fold rotational symmetry, considered to be a quasicrystal long before any of these discoveries were made.

These patterns channel a deeper meaning that transcends the merely decorative. If quasicrystal patterns permeate such a wide span of time, material, and culture, could we be tapping into something much larger than ourselves? Carl Sagan once said, “We are all made of starstuff.” That longing for connection to the origins of creation is the driving force behind all my work.


August 11
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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1978 Maplewood Arts Center
1978 Springfield Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040 United States
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For any questions about the arts calendar, please email sindy@newarkarts.org