Katie Paterson

Apr 20, 2012


Katie Paterson strives to communicate unimaginably large or distant occurrences in nature or the universe, transforming them through the medium of everyday objects or materials and reducing them to a human scale. Her projects make use of sophisticated technologies, from satellites to telescopes, and specialist expertise of a range of scientists to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements with nature,ecology, geology and cosmology.

The exhibition Katie Peterson presents a selection of recent projects the same named artist including Ancient Darkness TV, 2009, The Dying Star Letters, 2010 and 100 Billion Suns, 2011.

This exhibition is the first UK presentation of 100 Billion Suns, a project first developed for the Venice Biennale in July 2011. The work recreates a history of Gamma Ray Bursts, the brightest explosions in the universe, which burn 100 billion times brighter than the sun. For this project Paterson created confetti with pieces of paper that she colour-matched to each of these cosmic events. Every burst of confetti creates a miniature explosion of all of these vast explosions in just under a second. The confetti canons were set off at regular intervals during the Venice Biennale last year at a series of unspecified locations, from major piazzas to the smallest back streets. For this presentation a selection of photographs documenting the project in Venice will be included in the display and the confetti canons will be fired daily at 1:00 pm for the duration of the exhibition.

The Dying Star Letters is a series of letters sent by the artist to communicate the death of a star. To create these letters Paterson receives notifications from astronomical institutes each time a star explodes. Upon hearing the news that a star has died, the artist writes and posts a letter, announcing its death. The letters, either handwritten or typed onto various kinds of paper, in a range of formats, are displayed in a vitrine in the gallery.

Ancient Darkness TV broadcasts darkness from the edge of the universe. To create this work Paterson worked with astronomers from the Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea to transmit an image of ‘ancient darkness’ on a New York television station. Broadcast for one minute, it revealed darkness from the furthest point of the observed universe, 13.2 billion years ago, shortly after the Big Bang and long before the Earth existed, when stars, galaxies and the first light began to form. The footage is shown on a continual loop in the gallery space.

Haunch of Venison

March 9th – April 28th, 2012
103 New Bond Street
London W1S 1ST
United Kingdom