June 2015. No, it’s not the universe. Unless you’ve been recently living on an uninhabited island and away from the internet, you’d have heard of the multiverse. That maybe, we don’t live in a one universe, but that our universe is one out of billions and billions (Apologies to Cark Sagan) of universes; the multiverse. Our universe just happens to be the one that contains our forms of life, and most importantly homo-sapiens.
Architect and landscape artist Charles Jencks (a speaker at the SMN’s 2015 Mystics and Scientists Conference) has gone so far as to express his vision of the multiverse in a gigantic Earth sculpture, The Crawick Multiverse. Spread over 55 acres it is possibly the largest sculpture ever built. The sculpture, officially opening on June 21 2015 (the summer solstice) is located in a former open cast mine in Dumfries and Galloway.
Jencks is well known for taking scientific concepts such as DNA, the structures of cells, the geometry of spirals and weaving those concepts into the landscape. Literally putting facts on the ground. At Maggie’s Centre in Inverness he created dividing cells , showing the interconnectivity of cells. Visions of the DNA molecule adorn the garden at the Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow. And there’s the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfries, covering more than 30 acres.
The Multiverse, funded by the landowner the Duke of Buccleuch, uses boulders found at the site and mounds to recreate all objects found in our universe and beyond: comets, stars, star clusters, galaxies, clusters of galaxies and yes, multiple universes. The rocks cast aside by the miners became the building blocks of the universe. The land form expresses cosmic order, and even the Big Bang. At the centre of the sculpture is the Omphalos, which in Greek and Hopi Indian mythology denotes the navel of the Earth, the source where all creation begins.
While you take a walk your imagination can follow the paths of comets, walk past galaxies, giant clusters of galaxies, and into the void. Or you can turn off the mind, observe the land and appreciate its beauty.
The Crawick Multiverse is more than one more enigmatic sculpture. Like Stonehenge, the pyramids or other sacred architecture, it expresses in Earth forms our living connection to the cosmic order.
The Crawick Multiverse
Upper Nithsdale , DGY