Gravitational waves a cosmic phenomenon discovered by Einstein as early as in 1916, but first measured by scientists in 2016. Gravitational waves arise when two celestial bodies orbit each other, spinning closer and closer together, unleashing energy so powerful that it creates ripples in spacetime itself. Inspired by this theory, some Swedish artists/architects have designed earthwork, Gravitational Ripples in Sweden. Do you know what’s the India connection of this project?
Gravitational Ripples was created by the artist Lea Porsager together with Søren Assenholt, Rasmus Strange Thue Tobiasen and Synnøve B. Brøgger. Gravitational Ripples is inspired by a cosmic phenomenon known as gravitational waves. The waves arise when two celestial bodies collide, unleashing energy so powerful that they create ripples in the fabric of space-time itself. In Gravitational Ripples, the cosmic waves are brought down to earth as a double spiral, carefully integrated in the landscape. A network of walkways enables visitors to move through the work, finding their own paths and experiences. In the centre, two oval bronze sculptures evoke the image of celestial bodies in orbit.
The earthwork is a memorial for the victims of 2004 Tsunami in Indian Ocean. The project was nominated for Swedish Architectural Landscape Architecture Prize in 2019.
The memorial conveys the all-encompassing, pulsating movement of the universe. It is a meditation on the boundless forces of the universe, a reminder of the cosmic disruptions that bind and unite us.
“The 2004 tsunami was a brutal reminder of the fragility of our earthbound existence. Situating our experiences in the greater context of the cosmos connects us to notions of infinity, origin, and creation. The scientific illustrations of gravitational waves reminded me of the unconditional beauty and rawness of nature. How, in a frozen moment, the waves formed a double spiral, resounding with the interconnectedness and complementarity of all phenomena. Somehow, our lives unfold within these strange space-time entanglements. To me, interconnectedness and complementarity constitute a working method in and of themselves. A gravitational wave situated on a quiet spot outside of Stockholm—a cosmic ripple transformed into an earthly, spiralling cradle,” noted Porsager.
For those who died in Tsunami in India and other parts of South East Asia, a memorial in Sweden? Yes, because, of the quarter million people who lost their lives in the natural calamity are included 543 Swedish citizens. In fact, the larger sculpture bears the names of the Swedish citizens who lost their lives in the tsunami.
Tsunami happened on the 26th December 2004 and in connection with the 10 year anniversary of the tsunami the Swedish government decided to create a memorial. In 2017 the artist Lea Porsager won the international competition with the artwork Gravitational Ripples. In 2018, the project was completed.