York Grand Tour

Been meaning to tell you about a fabulous show that's in and around York at the moment. The York Science & Innovation Grand Tour  is all about the global and ground-breaking contributions people, businesses and organisations have made in York and their impact on the city. Sixty diverse images, each with its own message, are displayed until the end of August and I'm lucky enough to pass quite a few of them when I walk into town - certainly helps brighten up the grey rainy days. 
Love this fractal image, by the entrance to St Michael in the Belfrey church. Here's what's on the label: Fractals, like this Mandelbrot plot, are self-repeating patterns found throughout nature, in plants, lightning and even coastlines.  Early work on fractals was pioneered by Lewis Fry (of chocolate fame I assume) Richardson, who went to Bootham School, York 1894-98.
This red cabbage definitely caught my eye - I'm a sucker for any kind of in-your-face colour. Interesting stuff on the label:
Nestlé uses only natural colouring foodstuffs such as Red Cabbage in Smarties ® and explores innovative technologies to make sure they keep their bright colours.

Apparently there are eight different coloured Smarties, each getting their hue from veggies and other plants such as black carrot, hibiscus, safflower, radish, lemon and Spirulina. 

I'm very happy to hear that. I was very unhappy when Nestlé took over the Rowntree chocolate factory in York. I'd boycotted their products for years after learning about their exploits in Africa, allegedly trying to persuade mothers that the bottle was better for their babies than the breast. I do happen to believe this, but it's not the issue here, I just found it unthinkable that a global company could be so unscrupulous, placing profit before lives in countries where women can't afford to feed themselves, let alone pay for a commodity that they already have on tap. Surely the answer was to feed the mothers, then the baby milk will flow free.  Sorry to rant, but it's taken me years to accept that Nestlé is a part of York and I'm pleased that they seem to be cleaning up their act.
Couldn't pass this one without stopping, all about pigments... opposite the Minster on High Petergate:
Colouring agents used by medieval glaziers to create stained glass windows in York Minster have been found to contain tiny gold and silver fragments now known as nanoparticles.
It goes on to say that nanoparticles are now used in chemistry, medicine and biology amongst other fields.

Such an interesting concept, carrying innovation through to the end user - if you've got a smart phone you can enter an image's QR code and instantly get everything you want to know about the image - amazing!  
© Lisa Blackwell
Another glorious image on Blake Street:
Shells of pollen and spores can help preserve and deliver medicines, food supplements and cosmetics, enables by patented Sporomex technology.

If you'd like to see the other fab fifty-six images the best thing is to wander around York and see them in situ, but failing that take a virtual stroll online.
PS Been having a lot of fun on my ipad recently making my own fractal-like images.  If you haven't already, check out Uzu (means whirlpool in Japanese), a great app, mind-blowing for design ideas!


  1. Thank you for a great post! Fab photos, especially the one of the red cabbage and you wearing a matching beret! Inspiring!


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