The Hubble telescope is humanity’s window out into space. But the universe is huge. Incomprehensibly so. And the farther we look into the distance, the further back we are looking in time.
Einstein’s speed limit suggests we may never travel far and thus see much beyond what we see now. We rely on gravitational lensing to see the most distant galaxies which appear almost as single points of light and we see them as they were billions of years ago.
Space images of objects closer to home are often not entirely what our eyes would see. Infrared and radio waves are used to penetrate cosmic dust clouds and emissions outside the visible spectrum are converted into false colour.
What does it really look like way way out there? What does it look like now? What else is out there?
Drawing from the ubiquity of space photographs in popular culture, key themes in the exhibition are space, time, distance and scale, and our need to make things manageable and understandable by the way that we label them, when some things are neither manageable nor (to most of us) understandable.
The work layers many of the things that intrigue me – scale, from the unimaginably minute to the impossibly vast and the sense of perspective engendered by this; – time, from the instant of capture back through 13.7 billion years to when time began; – science, from the pure to the fiction.
The images are created in camera on film referencing the notion that film doesn’t lie and yet questioning reality. There is no way this could be real, could it?