3 Feb-13 Feb 2022


Periastra is a hybrid exhibition where artists and astrophysicists are invited to share each others' modes of exploring the world of celestial phenomena. Often thought of as mutually exclusive, there are sometimes surprising similarities in terms of the aspiration and expression of curiosity. The participants in this show have been identified through their interest in crossing this boundary and the result is an intriguing and visually rich interpretation of each others' fields of research. 

The sky is a half of our environment and yet its nature remains elusive and a source of mysteric inspiration. The very distance of its population removes our enquiry from direct interaction and launches out into the realms of speculation with barely adequate tools. Recent exploration by spacecraft and improvements in the operation of telescopes have returned vast quantities of data that require interpretation. This, in turn has required the adoption of models of increasing complexity and assumption. The advent of computing has accelerated this process but at the risk of losing that immediate contact with astrophysical ontology. 

The greatest telescope we posses is our ability to think imaginatively. What could the nature of this Universe be and how can we experiment in this grandest of laboratories? Is it at all possible to bring this realm into an Earthly laboratory let alone the enthusiast's shed? Little more than a century ago observational endeavours would result in, at best, the interpretation of a few grains of photographic emulsion. With every advance in technology, and the subsequent resolution in signal reception, has come an ever growing appreciation of the complexity we experience above our heads. 

This is a journey that has barely begun. 

Curated by: Paul Malone


Participating artists:

Alistair McClymont - multimedia art 

David Bloor - sound art 

Els van Riel - structural film 

FRIPON - fireball recovery 

Herouni Antenna, Armenia - optical radio 

Jazmin Morris - computational artist 

John Berman - muon detection 

Miles Mathis - maths, charge field theory 

LPPFusion - focus fusion research 

Nicola Rae - multimedia art 

Paul Malone - multimedia art 

Richard Lawrence - sculptor 

Rupinder Khaira - multimedia art 

SAFIRE - electric sun experiments 

Steven Scott - multimedia art 

UKMON - meteor detection 

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