BLK BO CX – MESSIER CATALOGUE

The communication of the human experience with the cosmos is a settling constant, transcending ephemeral socio-cultural that realise so much on our perception of our environment to understand the magnitude of the universe we live in. With this in mind, I often consider place and its meaning to an individual in my work.

I wanted to create an interactive sensory piece that would bring a physical aspect to exploring the night sky. By undergoing a thorough research in combination with my personal views, I dissect the subject and translate into a design that tells a visual story, focused on image and perspective.

The piece is comprised of multiple sections, lithophanes to be observed with light passing through to reveal the hidden detail, postcards to offer a portable guide to locating deep sky object within the night sky, 3D printed hold able objects to offer a tactile perspective of the variations of deep sky objects as well as artist books that will be separated from the main body of the piece to offer a more personal experience that can be taken away.

The piece tests the boundaries between seeing, classifying, and reproducing deep-sky objects against those catalogued by French astronomer Charles Messier. BLK BO CX, is both an adaptation and variation on the visual data comprising Messier’s 110 deep sky objects that he observed in his attempt to chart comets (when, in fact, he had “accidentally” observed whole galaxies and interstellar nebulae).

The piece that I have created it my homage to the Messier’s catalogue of deep sky objects, split into sections the piece is a correlation of the catalogue in different forms. The piece includes 110 lithophanes that depict each deep sky object when held up to light with an accompanying set of postcards that displays information about each of them. In addition to this there are 9 hand painted disks that show the variations of deep sky object from a galaxy to a nebula as well as an 18 panel star map to help locate in the night sky. To accompany the main piece there is an additional aspect including a miniature artist book containing all 110 illustartions as well as a single lithophane. The purpose of the piece is to inform people about the Messier catalogue as well as creating a museum style art piece.

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