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Exhibitions > underworld by John Jackson 210511

Rocking in Rythmn


Rocking in Rythmn

‘ROCKING IN RHYTHM’ is a painting depicting a configuration of tectonic plates where the oceanic lithosphere sinks beneath the north western edge of North America.


A thin medium and dark blue, line runs from top to bottom and separates the bluish-purple oceanic plates on the left from the orange continental plate on the right. This blue line represents an offshore trench or subduction zone.


The oceanic plates are made up of light, medium and dark bluish-purple pillow lavas. The pillow lavas are born at the yellow, orange and red oceanic spreading centres. Red lava can be seen poking through cracks in the youngest pillows. As the pillows cool and become older they are represented by darker colours. As the spreading centres pulse out lava the pillows are moving slowly away from them. In addition the oceanic plates are moving from left to right and into the thin blue line or offshore trench. As the oceanic plates move into the offshore trench they compress, fold and convey the pale tan and yellow sediment pile that collects at he margins of the continent.


The continental plate located to the right of the offshore trench is represented by a series of folded browns and oranges. Floating above the continental plate are the yellow, orange and brown sediment grains that have eroded from the continent and are being transported out to sea. The coastline is where the sediment grains are closely packed. The outline of Vancouver Island can be seen in the top right.


The oceanic plates move from left to right, picking up sediment and moving under the continent through the offshore trench. Once under the continent, the edge of the oceanic plates begin to melt, rise through the continent as lava and construct a chain of volcanoes. Here the volcanoes are represented as yellow, red and purple flowers with the oldest lava flows being the darkest purple. The isolated “lava petals” are old volcanic debris that has been separated from their volcanic centres by erosion.


All the plates are ‘ROCKING IN RHYTHM’ to the pulsing beat being improvised by the spreading centres.


This artwork was displayed in 2010 on Vashon Island, Seattle, Washington, in the world’s second Art Exhibition for geoscientists.

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