The impact of humanity on the global environment is at the forefront of global discussions today across all forms of media. The challenge today, a consensus to address climate change and how we each as individuals can make a difference on a micro scale, grows with ever increasing conspiracy theories and a magnitude of distrust in science. Never have we faced such a monumental threat to the future of our world, yet with so many in disbelief. In the 1980s we discovered the hole in the ozone layer and a broad activation unified across the world banned CFCs through aerosol use, which was one of the most successful environmental campaigns ever completed, leading to a return of our protective ozone layer. Yet today we see wildfires across the world, rising sea levels and ever increasing extreme weather caused by mankind’s turbulent effect on the world, but action to address this is slow and still lacking commitment in so many areas of daily life.
Drawing attention to these environmental causes, Pete Rey’s latest collection is an artistic exploration of the many spheres between the earth’s surface and the void of space, with the hope of bringing focus to our past success in a unified action to address the depletion of the ozone layer with a call to action for climate change to unite once again and make a difference on a global scale, starting with day to day localised action. Rey’s body of work transmits a mixture of serene and powerful movements, combined with a stunning iridescence of colours found across the expanse above us. It is Rey’s third art collection, following his first ‘Dimensions’ and second ‘Paradiso’.
Movement is a key component of Rey’s work, giving tremendous energy and a beautiful flow through each artwork, enhancing the emotional connection with the viewer. For his creations, Rey takes original inspirational source images and transforms them into unique pieces of contemporary art through various digital painting techniques. It is a process he has termed ‘Phototranscendence’, which creates strokes much like those of a painters’ brush, whilst preserving the original colour palette.
SPECTRUM SOURCE IMAGE
Using source images from NASA as inspiration for each piece in the collection ‘Atmosphere’, captured from both space and aerial viewpoints, it stands as a celebration of the life’s work of Gordon Miller Bourne Dobson CBE FRS, the great grandfather of the artist. Dobson’s work on the atmosphere was instrumental in the discovery of the hole in the Ozone layer and propelled a much greater understanding of the entity as a whole, for which he was honoured with a CBE from the Queen and a Fellowship from Merton College, Oxford. To this day NASA still use his measurement of ozone density in the atmosphere, The Dobson Unit. His portrait which is held at the National Portrait Gallery, was taken by the same photographer, Walter Stoneman, who was also commissioned by Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill which emphasised his eminence in his day. It is no surprise that Pete Rey, Gordon’s great grandson who shares his middle name Gordon, is passionate about the environmental challenges ahead of us.
GORDON MILLER BOURNE DOBSON
Rey’s creative journey began at a young age, initially signed to BritArt at the age of 21, selling abstract fine art photography prints. BritArt were famous for creating an iconic movement of contemporary art in the 1990s, representing some of todays most established artists and attracted the interest of industry leading figures, including Charles Saatchi. Rey then applied his creative talents to create an international production company, completing worldwide commissions, from which a love of travel and the world’s natural beauty in photography was born. Returning to the art scene with a wealth of production skills and digital imaging expertise, Rey brings with him a fresh look of abstract artistry to the fine art world.
Inspired by meditational practice where one can often see auras and movements of light, Rey takes inspirational original source images and transforms these into entirely new works through digital painting techniques, producing breathtaking pieces of large format art. Throughout his work, Rey takes us on a journey, to blur the lines between known dimensions, creating unique artworks to represent the transcendence of energy flows into what is termed the ‘Quantum’ and beyond. Working as a digital artist but delivering his work as vast immersive prints, Rey breaks down the traditional separation between the digital and physical artist, using an array of digital processes to enhance his creative expression but ultimately produces works in awe inspiring, huge physical forms.
Rey has always been fascinated by the science behind the known world, studying Human Sciences at University College London in his early twenties and also enjoying a talented grasp of technology. Applying his love of science, technology and creativity to the artistic process, he has developed a unique expression of art from a photographic starting point. It is perhaps no accident that his great grandfather’s most famous work and discoveries were founded upon the application of unique photographic processes.
Rey’s great grandfather Gordon Miller Bourne Dobson was an experimentalist of unusual ingenuity who devoted much of his life to the observation and study of atmospheric ozone. The results were to be of great importance in leading to an in depth understanding of the structure and circulation of the stratosphere, with the apparatus he created being instrumental in the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer. Dobson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1927, awarded their Rumford Medal in 1932 and delivered their Bakerian lecture in 1945. He won the Chree medal and prize in 1949. He served as president of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1947 to 1949 and was awarded their prestigious Symons Gold Medal for 1938. He was made a CBE in 1951.
Dobson inferred correctly that the cause of the warm stratosphere was heating by the absorption of ultraviolet solar radiation by ozone, and he set out to make measurements of the amounts and their variability. He decided to measure ozone by observing its absorption in the solar ultraviolet spectrum using photographic recordings. Invented in the 1920’s, Dobson’s ‘spectrophotometers’ continued to be developed until the 1950s. The apparatus essentially worked by comparing the intensities of a pair of ultraviolet wavelengths. One wavelength is partially absorbed by ozone and the other is unaffected. The ratio between them gives a measure of the amount of ozone in the atmosphere along the light’s path.
Rey’s latest collection ‘Atmosphere’ celebrates the ground breaking work of his great grandfather and with it attention towards important environmental movements to address man’s impact on global climate change. As an artist Rey is not only passionate about the connection of his work with its audience but also in how art has the power to reach an awareness of the world around us, beyond what words can achieve.