Across The Spectrum: Fluorescent Plexiglass Sculpture, by Colin Barker, Santa Fe, NM

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"I love fresh ideas about everything". Adriana Siso founded her contemporary industrial design store in 2002 in Santa Fe, NM. With a background in Fine Arts, Adriana has been an innovator, bringing to the Santa Fe area, original and unique industrial design products by some of the most creative design firms in the world.

The first design partners Molecule worked with were Vitra Design Museum, Moooi, Cherner Chair, and other well-known national and international brands. Today it partners with other world-class manufacturers like Vondom, Loll Designs and Moroso.

Molecule operated out of a recycled and renovated shipping container building, the first of its kind in Santa Fe. Currently Molecule is available through the online store and by appointment.

Sustainability is an important area of interest and ongoing exploration for Molecule, which offers product lines with a focus on conservation and ecological stewardship. A recent alliance with the Vertical Aeroponic Growing System – Tower Garden, promises to offer a lot of inspiration in the growing field of aeroponics as the future of agriculture, industrial design at its best.

At Molecule Design
1226 Flagman Way, Santa Fe NM

Opening reception: 5pm to 8pm, Friday October 5, 2018
Artwork on display through October 30, 2018

“Firefly Fire” – DNA is made up of four bases (“nucleotides”) and combinations of these make up genes. Since fluorescent plexiglass comes in four colors, it can be used to code the sequence in genes. Here is part of the gene in fireflies that makes the protein that gives the firefly “fire” — the flash. C. Barker

“The colors of the spectrum are familiar from the rainbow and from glass prisms:

 red  /  orange  /  yellow  /  green  /  blue  /  indigo  /  violet

The fluorescent Plexiglas used for the sculptures in the show “Across the Spectrum” are

          Red  /  Orange  /  Yellow-Green  /  and Blue-Violet”. C. Baker.

Colin Barker‘s impressive multifaceted background, including science, writing, and art-making denotes a fertile active imagination, flexibility of thought that integrates layered content with symbolic poetry, academic contemplation, impeccable execution, and rich humor. His colored plexiglass pieces convey an exploration into the mystery and beauty of light through prismatic references and metaphors. With his use of the luminous material, he develops multidimensional glowing forms—elegant contemporary planar sculptures that reflect a clean formal beauty materialized by mathematical and scientific considerations for a futurist environment. Some of his pieces also bring to mind objects from the 1960s Space Age aesthetic, worlds that merge in a minimalist Santa Fe 2018 space, where elements of the ancient and the new blend in perfect harmony. His beautiful plexiglass pieces push us to contemplate on times ahead.

DNA sequence, plexiglass & steel

DNA: Colin has used four colors of fluorescent Plexiglas to metaphorically code the four building blocks of DNA. In addition to the segment representing the gene sequence that lets fireflies “fire”, he worked on another one which is from chickens that over a thousand years ago developed a mutation that made them much less aggressive and egg-laying year round. Perhaps the most interesting from the collection of the DNA segments is the one from the gene associated with human language and bird song.

Barker has shown his artwork at City of Mud and Molecule Design in Santa Fe, NM, 2018. He is a multiple award winner at The Santa Fe Home Show, First Place, March 2015; Third Place March 2016. Colin is a member of the SCULPTURE UNION group at the Santa Fe Community College where he works on his steel and plexiglass sculptures. He got involved with steel in 2008, and with plexiglass a few years later.

Come and see the intriguingly beautiful luminous work and meet the artist. He will also have his books on display and for sale.


Colin was born in Plymouth, England. He was the Beresford-Hope scholar at New College, Oxford where he completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He specialized in geochemistry and moved into the geology department to do his doctorate. After graduation in 1965 he emigrated to the U.S. with his wife Yvonne and their two sons, Ashley and Conan.

T. Wrecks: Murder in the Geology Department""” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Find it on Amazon

Dr. Barker retired as a Professor of Geology in 2004 and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he joined the Santa Fe writers group and used his experience of academia to write three murder mysteries set in a fictitious New Mexico university, not surprisingly his protagonist is a Geologist. His latest work is T.Wrecks: Murder in the Geology Department, which won him the Finalist nomination for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. His novels all are available on Amazon.

Colin is McMan Professor (Emeritus) and a past Chairman of the Geosciences Department at the University of Tulsa. He is a research consultant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dr. Barker was formerly with Exxon Production Research in Houston, Texas and has over 35 years’ experience in Organic Geochemistry including as a consultant to several major petroleum companies. He has also been an international lecturer for OGCI/PetroSkills.

Colin Barker was associate editor for the AAPG Bulletin and Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, and is a past chairman of both the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society and AAPG’s Visiting Geologist Program. He received AAPG’s Matson Award twice and served as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Barker has published numerous technical papers and is the author of “Organic Geochemistry in Petroleum Exploration” (AAPG, 1980) and “Thermal Modeling: Theory and Applications” (Elsevier, 1996).

Colin was one of the Principal Investigators for NASA’s Apollo 15 mission. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry and is a Dr. of Philosophy in Geology from Oxford University, U.K. He was also a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin.

Repeating Transparencies, plexiglass & steel


Since the earliest cave paintings more than 30,000 years ago, human artists have chosen to observe and illustrate their environment. In that environment, they never saw a perfectly flat surface, a straight line, or a square. Things we take for granted, like flat floors and smooth walls, are constructs of the human mind and the product of human technology. I have embraced contemporary materials—like steel sheet and fluorescent Plexiglas—to make sculptures that reflect modern innovation. And I have done this incorporating many of the concepts of the minimalists. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” or as Albert Einstein said, “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” 

Colin Barker, 2018