First light

King, Melanie and Wohl, Isobel (2017) First light. [Show/Exhibition]


The output, First Light, is an exhibition of photographs and prints by London based artist Melanie King. Her practice-based research is concerned with the representation of celestial objects, considering how materiality can affect our reading of an image. The body of work was originally inspired by the Envisioning the Universe seminar at the National Maritime Museum (2013) convened by Dr Marek Kukula. At this seminar, Elizabeth Kessler explained how images from the Hubble Telescope are mediated before being published. Colours, crops and contrasts are added with sophisticated digital imaging techniques to communicate important features of galaxies and nebulae, such as chemical composition or structures of gas clouds. These images are neither objective nor subjective – curiously they sit somewhere in-between. Through the production of these artworks, King reconsiders how astronomical objects can be represented within contemporary art practice. Overall, she aims to understand the phenomena of astronomy (‘star-arranging’) in a tangible, material way. An interpretation text by Isobel Wohl from Royal College of Art accompanied the exhibition.

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