Music & Light Symbiosis no. 3 | APPLIED PURE at the MI

Music & Light Symbiosis no. 3

Live water projection with small pool on left, harpsichord being played in the middle and live feed projector top right, held in the MI’s lecture theatre L2, Monday 18th November 2019. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019

A water and harpsichord concert and an art exhibition held in the Mathematical Institute, Oxford

Katharine Beaugié – Water and Light Sculpture  

Medea Bindewald – Harpsichord

Joseph Black – Water Sculpture & Pool Technician

Curated by Balázs Szendrői

Andrew Wiles Building, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, OX2 6GG

EVENT: Monday 18th November 2019, 6.30 – 8.30pm

EXHIBITION: 18th November – 6th December 2019

The concert

A unique collaboration between light sculptor Katharine Beaugié and international concert harpsichordist Medea Bindewald, combining the live, spontaneously made patterns of water and light with the sound of harpsichord music in a mathematical environment.

My hand in the water pool with refracted light of the surface on the left wall. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
Double manual harpsichord after Pascal Taskin (Paris, 1769) made by Keith Hill. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
Medea Bindewald playing the harpsichord. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
Joseph Black using props to move the water surface, others included his breath, hands, beads.
Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
Joseph Black making a drop fall on the water surface. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
The concert APPLIED PURE, harpsichord, water & light. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019

The programme of music for harpsichord and water:

  • Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757): Sonate in A-Dur K. 208 Adagio e cantabile, Sonate in a-Moll Allegro K. 175
  • Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667): Suite XX in D-Dur
  • Enno Kastens (bn. 1967): Schattenreise (Shadow Journey 1995)
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Partita VI in e-Moll BWV 830
Medea Bindewald 2019. Photograph by Stuart Hollis

“One of Europe’s finest harpsichord performers”

BBC Radio Leicester

It is not simply the perfection and brilliance of her playing that is charming, but also the extraordinary intensity with which the music resonates.

Aalener Kulturjournal

“Katharine compels her audience to contemplate life’s stark realities. Yet at no time do you feel adrift. She welcomes you to the dark and glittering universe beyond the gallery walls with a gentle, human hand.” 

Georgina Treloar, Writer/Musician, 2018

An absolutely wonderful experience. It made me feel incredibly calm and really thoughtful and made me think in a more spiritual way. Easily put into places were people are troubled.”

Madi Acharyatsh-Baskerville, 2019

The Exhibition

A series of black and white photograms (photographic shadows), displaying the patterns of the natural phenomena of human relationship with water and light.

APPLIED PURE the exhibition. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
APPLIED PURE the exhibition. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019
APPLIED PURE the exhibition. Photograph by Louisa Love © 2019

The artwork was made for the mathematicians to meditate on the natural phenomena of water and light, in the hope it might inform and enlighten their understanding of nature. I’m not sure if they actually looked up from their formulae and equations though…

The scale of the artwork was made to fit the magnificent architecture of the Andrew Wiles Building, designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects.


Martin Kemp, art writer, historian and leading authority on Leonardo Da Vinci.

A selection of the artwork

Drop | God, 2019 digitally enlarged photogram of the shadow of a drop on water © Katharine Beaugié 2019
hand in developer | primal, 2019 digitally enlarged photogram
Floating feathers, 2019 digitally enlarged photogram
Wave 1 2019 digitally enlarged photogram
Hand through developer | moment 2019 digitally enlarged photogram

Katharine would like to thank all the below sponsors for their contribution to make this venture possible. She would also like to thank Anthony White, Mrs. Mary Esslemont and the Tory Family Foundation for their generous financial contributions.

Thank you to all who contributed to this project: Joseph Black water sculptor & pool technician, Louisa Love documentary photographer & art installation assistant, David Alderman artist’s assistant, photographer & art installation assistant, Matt Appleby documentary filmmaker & Harry Reeves assistant filmmaker, Jane Haigh general assistant, Dyrol Lumbard events promotion, Keith Gillow technical manager, Mark Doyle technical assistance.

Thank you also to Clare Smith, Joanna Jones, Benjamin Hunt, Anna Braithwaite, Brigitte Orasinski from Strange Cargo, Mark Deller and Nico Kos Earle.

And finally; thank you so much to Prof. Balazs Szendroi, Mathematics professor of University of Oxford and art curator, who first saw my photograms in the exhibition SURFACE in 2018 (curated by Nico Kos Earle) and invited me to exhibit. APPLIED PURE turned into a monster project, but Balazs bravely stuck with it. We were frontier people, bringing art into a brave new world of Mathematics.

This project is dedicated to the memory of my great-grandfather, Sidney Edmund Beaugié bn. August 21, 1879 who achieved a double first in Mathematics and French at University of Oxford in the early 1900s.

“It was mesmeric; I was drawn into a different dimension. Embryonic. Fluid. Light and dark. Transformation. Stretching of time. Elastic”

Casper Henderson, 2019

1 Comment

  1. All these photos are wonderfull. And also the film, like a dance of veils of all kinds, playing with each other and chasing each other. Veils having fun over Bach’s enterlacings and from time to time tickling it. !This is what I find in that film. Thanks a lot for the film (too short !) and for the photos !

    Liked by 1 person

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