A Stone Sky, Susan Eyre and Julie F Hill

11 Nov-26 Nov 2023
PV 10 Nov 2023, 6-9pm

Thames-Side Studios Gallery
Royal Borough of Greenwich, London SE18 5NR


'A stone sky rotated above our heads’ – Italo Calvino, Cosmicomics.

A Stone Sky brings together the works of multi-disciplinary artists Julie F Hill and Susan Eyre who traverse cosmic layers from the deep earth to deep space, exploring manifestations of darkness and its associations with the unknown and undiscovered. Reimagining the idea of an observatory, their sculptures and installations reach for scales and orders that surpass the human, revealing the cosmic at our feet. The exhibition proposes a cavernous realm of real and speculative possibilities that arise from beyond the limits of human perception. Engaging with the extended sensory range offered by technologies such as orbiting space telescopes through to the ability of birds to ‘see’ the Earth’s magnetic field, the artists’ reveal intimate connections between earth and space.

Susan Eyre seeks to navigate a path across time from the first human encounter with the magical qualities of the lodestone to current understanding of the interaction of the magnetic field with terrestrial life. Her works respond to the architecture, instruments and materials, found at a magnetic observatory while scientific objectives are expanded to include natural navigation techniques and extra-sensory methods used by the non-human realm, to form the basis of speculation as to the ability for humans to perceive the Earth’s magnetic field. Installation, sculpture and moving image works include a reimagined observation hut operating as a sensory hub with video screens suggesting portals into a web of neural pathways; an obelisk of layered recycled paper echoing Earth’s geological and magnetic history secreted in sedimentary strata of rock and a digital video work activated in real time by the passage of cosmic rays through a scintillator detector.

Julie F Hill explores the entwined darknesses of earth and cosmos. Crystalline and mineral substances from the deep earth fuse with astronomical data to suggest the deep-earth as an instrument for coming to know the cosmos. Crystalline and mineral substances formed in the continuum of deep earth and deep space allow us to peer back into cosmic time, both through the technologies created with them and the geological record they hold. Whilst darkness often indicates uncertainty and lack of knowledge, Hill asserts that it’s through darkness when we can be most perceptive to the interconnectedness between earth and cosmos. Through it we are able to extend our kinship with the inorganic and expand consciousness of what constitutes nature. Works include a large-scale sculptural print installation made from James Webb Space Telescope data that is reworked into a cavernous space, providing an experience of intimate immensity alongside more smaller sculptural and photographic works.

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