Art makes stars out of astronomers
Saturday 03 November 2012
Stretching backwards, his limbs at all angles and his face bathed in concentrated sunlight, Detrick Branston is testing which filter to use for safely looking at the sun during the annular eclipse in the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona, earlier this year.
I photographed him during the month’s residency at NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory). I was there as the first part of a project I am sharing with Jane Grisewood to make sense of astronomy and astronomers through the lens of contemporary art. The second part will be to go to the Cerro Tololo Observatory in the foothills of the Andes in the Atacama Desert, Chile, in three weeks’ time.
I photographed the astronomers at work and generally they were rooted both in their offices and in the observatories, looking at a computer screen, rather than through the lens of a telescope, or, as here, protecting their eyes from the blinding glare of direct, magnified, sunlight. All were dedicated to ideals of education and research, but most of all to a vision of a still mysterious universe, which challenged them to understand it a little better, on a mountain top, on the Tohono O’odham Native American reservation.
A limited-edition artist’s book made from some of the material gathered won the Birgit Skiold Award for Excellence. For more information, email email@example.com
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins Mark Wright, Pixie Lott and Judy Murray in line-up
Doctor Who, Into the Dalek, TV review: Classic sci-fi adventure has blockbuster spectacle
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward