I am a visual artist and practice-based researcher at the Royal College of Art. I am interested in the relationship between starlight, photography and materiality. My PhD research project “Ancient Light: Rematerializing the Astronomical Image” considers how light travels thousands, if not millions of years, before reaching photosensitive film or a digital sensor. My main body of photographs “Ancient Light” comprises of a series of analogue photographic negatives and prints of star-scapes, as well as a series of images created using telescopes and observatories around the world. Alongside this body of work, I have produced 16mm films of the Moon and photographic etchings created using meteorite-imbued ink, milled at the Royal School of Mines. I have produced daguerreotypes and world-record sized cyanotypes exploring the relationship with the Sun and photosensitive material. The purpose of my research is to demonstrate the intimate connection between celestial objects (sun, moon, stars), photographic material and the natural world.
My practice-based research has taken me on a journey far and wide, including collaborative projects with the UCLO Observatory in London, Kielder Observatory on the border of England and Scotland, the Laboratory for Dark Matter Research in Boulby, UK and the EU Commission in Ispra, Italy. I have participated in residencies in Iceland, Italy, Spain, Grizedale Forest, UK and Cornwall, UK to spend time under the night sky. For my research, I have also looked at analogue astronomical specimens within the UCL Space History Archive and the Royal Astronomical Society in London. Further afield, I have visited the Mount Wilson Observatory, Carnegie Archives and Hale Solar Laboratory in California, USA as well as the European Space Agency in Leiden, the Netherlands.
I am inspired by theories surrounding materiality, nature writing and the photographic object. Inspirations include and are not limited to: Jane Bennett, Karen Barad, Joshua Simon, Rebecca Solnit, Hannah Arendt, Olivia Laing, Robert Macfarlane, Derek Jarman, Nan Shepherd Marek Kukula, Frank White, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Andre Bazin, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Mary Statzer, Tacita Dean, Chris McCaw, Liliane Lijn, Lia Halloran, Semi-Conductor, Katie Paterson, Susan Derges and Garry Fabian Miller.
Recent work has been inspired by my move to Margate, UK, where I am in close proximity to dark skies, dramatic sunsets and a tumultuous sea.