Earth pigments, chalk, charcoal, and mica on cotton rag paper
I have been excited to respond to this opportunity to begin making new paintings on the theme of planetary atmospheres. The word ‘observatory’ is difficult, as I have only been able to use second-hand source material to attempt to understand the realities of the outer reaches of space, and to try to respond by absorbing and processing new knowledge as it arrives via various channels. First-hand observation of land/skyscapes in space is the privilege of very few at the present time, and we rely upon astrophysicists to clarify with scant but tantalising verbal, visual and auditory data share their research and observations. The work Descent to Titan is based on a blurry but fascinating set of photographs of the planet’s ‘shoreline’ taken as ESA's Huygens probe descended on 14th January 2005. In the making of this initial study I have allowed this to remain obscure within a dusty swirl of pigment so that details can just be deciphered through it.
By working with such images it is possible to gradually begin to comprehend, piece together and imagine being on untrodden terrains, and in atmospheres vastly different to those of Earth.
Reproduced with kind permission of Jenny Mellings.
Copyright ©Jenny Mellings
Research Theme: Extrasolar Planets