by Ian Randall. Published: 13 May 2011

Quarks, Black Holes, CERN & its surroundings was the title of the art exhibition by ALICE physicist Jan Hladky, which was on display in the CERN main building earlier this month. The showing, dedicated to the victims of the recent Sendai earthquake, ran from 20 April to 6 May.

CERN

Jan Hladky, ALICE physicist, at his exhibition.

A theme running through the showing of the Czech artist’s work was that of recycling - with all of the sculptures cast from found objects. Most of the pieces had their origin in waste left over from old experimental apparatuses – making the transition from helping us to study particles to that of depicting them in abstract form.

Even the sketches themselves carried the recycling theme – with drawings sketched on old posters and sheet music, set into frames of recycled cardboard.

Jan Hladky

Aachen, Charles the Great, by Jan Hladky

Many of the sketches showed CERN, its surroundings and other centers of excellence in physics. Two pieces were even kindly lent out by CERN’s Director General, Rolf Heuer – objects which had been previously gifted to him in celebration of his work.

Hladky explained that he has had almost no formal training in the arts – rather that he developed his unique talents for drawing, and sculpting glass, as a necessity. He joined the glass section of the Syndicate of Czechoslovak Fine Artists in 1987, partly as a means against unemployment – avoiding the soviet laws of the time prohibiting so-called ‘social parasitism’.

CERN

Some of Hladky's pieces drew inspiration from the recent Sendai Earthquake.
It is towards the relief efforts of which funds raised at the exhibit are being donated.

This exhibition, of over two decades of work, was more than just a showing, however – with most of the pieces also being available for purchase; the proceeds from which are kindly donated to relief efforts helping the victims of the recent natural disasters in Japan.

“It is my hope that people have enjoyed my exhibition,” said Hladky.

Further information on the art of Jan Hladky, in the form of a booklet from one of his previous exhibitions, displaying more examples and photographs of his work, can be found on the DESY website.