Mauna Kea: Sky Island

Artist-in-Residence at Mauna Kea observatories, Hawaii, USA 
1 – 28 November 2015

IMAGES TO FOLLOW

The one-month Mauna Kea residency (following Kitt Peak in Arizona and Cerro Tololo in Chile in 2012) was a phenomenal experience, especially working with three significant observatories: Gemini (I was based in the headquarters in Hilo), Keck and Subaru . I spent hours observing the constant movement in the massive sanctuary-like structures where engineers worked tirelessly on Mauna Kea. The summit was breathtakingly beautiful and exhilarating, a ‘sky island’, towering 40% into the atmosphere at 4205 metres (13,796ft), despite the zero temperatures and low oxygen. Everything changed at sunset as a magical golden glow morphed into a deep red before darkness came. The experience of spending time in the three observatories was dramatic in every way, making it difficult to find words to describe the intensity and awe of seeing and feeling of this cosmological wonder.

Mourning Lines

Mourning Lines in ‘Book Act’ @ The Tetley, Leeds,  March 2014
Live performance  9 March 2014 accompanied by video (2006/2014)
and artist book (2010)

  • 3 book set in slipcase acquired by the Tate Library Collection

Since the first ‘ash walk’ in 2005, and subsequent video a year later, I have performed Mourning Lines many times in many different ways, from drawing lines on paper,  to simply walking between familiar and poignant places. For this event Mourning Lines comprised of three different media:
Performance: 30-minute performance drawing with invitation to the audience to participate; charcoal on paper, overall 500 x 75 cm
Video: Recording of live performance trailing ash on 500-metre walk between home and the village burial ground. DVD; silent; 9’42”; filmed and edited by Ron Suffield
Book:  Accompanying book with sequence of 7 graphite drawings made during walks.