Seeing Stars: A new exhibition takes art into space

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A new exhibition at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery highlights contemporary artists using the latest spatial imaging technologies in their artistic practice.

Guest curated by visual artist and School of Design PhD student, Hondartza Fraga, Seeing Stars explores our long-standing fascination with space.

The exhibition showcases the work of contemporary artists and asks whether the spectacular astronomical images that science has given us have eclipsed the human imagination, which in the past has led to tales of gods, monsters and more.

Exhibition curator Hondartza Fraga said: “Advances in imaging technology mean that we are getting used to seeing ‘perfect’ images of space, to seeing further and further away. But these seamless images are usually neat constructs, made up of many images.

“We are getting better and better at smoothing out the limits, errors and noise of our technologies. Art, I believe, is always ready to consider these imperfections, to even embrace them – this is a central theme of the exhibition. “


Visual artist and doctoral student, Hondartza Fraga

“We are getting better and better at smoothing out the limits, errors and noise of our technologies. Art, I believe, is always ready to consider these imperfections, to even embrace them – this is a central theme of the exhibition.”

Other exhibiting artists include Stella Baraklianou, Vija Celmins, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Lia Halloran, Mishka Henner, Julia F. Hill, Risa Horowitz, Melanie King, Mark Lascelles-Thornton, Paul Magee and Thomas Ruff.

View Highlights

Make room for women

Lia Halloran’s artwork “Your Body is a Space That Sees” is a series of cyanotype prints that draw on historical images to trace women’s contributions to astronomy from ancient times to the present day. Halloran’s work is inspired by stories such as the historical accounts of Hypatia of Alexandria and the work of a group of women at Harvard in the late 1800s known as Pickering’s Harem or Harvard Computers.

The speed of light

A rising artist and doctoral candidate, Melanie King’s work, “Ancient Light: Rematerializing The Astronomical Image,” examines how light travels thousands, if not millions, of years before reaching a photosensitive film or digital sensor. Using analog photography, King’s atmospheric images depict dramatic starscapes.

To infinity

Julie F. Hill’s “From Here to Infinity” responds to the vastness of space as represented by modern science. Hill uses photography, image-making, sculpture, installation and more to explore conceptions of deep space and time.

gods and myths

Zachary Eastwood-Bloom’s series of works, “Divine Principles”, uses the planets of the solar system as a starting point. The series explores how humans have attempted to understand the universe and the planets of our solar system through religion, mythology, geometry, and science. The sculptures depict distorted Hellenic gods and depict how ideas, including how humans explain the universe, change over time.

Further information

Seeing Stars runs until Saturday July 30, 2022 at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery. Free entry. For more details and opening hours, visit the galleries website.

For further details, please contact the press office at pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk.

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