Cosmic Perspectives Artists and Events

For those of you unable to make it, here are some highlights from the cosmic perspectives, starting with our UAL Artists.

Silvia De Giorgi – UAL student at WCA
Stephen Bennett – UAL Student MA Art and Science CSM
Leah Stewart – MA Printmaking Camberwell UAL
Rose Zhou – Ma Art and Science CSM UAL
Becky Lyon – MA Art and Science CSM UAL
Hannah Pratt – Ma Art and Science CSM UAL

The Theme brought to life through conversation and debate though an exciting events and workshop schedule. 

The events programme kicked off on Saturday with an in depth workshop workshop guided Carl Grinter,  LCC UAL doctoral researcher. The workshop intended to re-conceptualise the way you may approach and orientate yourself to space through analytic of movement to reconsider how we really relate to objects, entities and other people. People participating in the workshop were asked to bring with them a small object which has meaning to them and through a series of mediated conversations and activities change perceptions of the objects. 

Image credit – Carl Grinter

The events programme was anchored by a talk by Dr Marek Kukula, The Intimate Universe. Dr Marek Kukula is the public astronomer for the Royal Observatory and has held the post for nearly ten years. His talk took the audience through definitions of gravity, weather, stars including our sun and most importantly out place in our galaxy and the wider universe. 

Screenings by Kosmica presented visionary look into what Science and Art when combined can accomplish. Kosmica are a worldwide institute that run political and critical projects that look at outer space exploration and its impact on the Earth. The screenings involved a series of well constructed films from documentary shorts to video based art works.




The making of an exhibition: Top 3 Lessons from ‘Cosmic Perspective

Blogs by Becky Lyon and Hannah Pratt, co-producers of the exhibition and MA Art and Science Yr 1 Postgraduates

With a background in exhibition production (Hannah) and creative project management (Becky) we both entered the project somewhat primed. However, realising the exhibition generated new experiences and learning opportunities. Here are our Top 3


On Artist Selection: Tell the Best Story

After setting the scene of the exhibition theme, an open call invited exhibitors from across the planet to share their interpretations of a “cosmic perspective”. What started out as a target of 25 exhibitors, rapidly doubled to….50.

A big theme warrants a big show. This was Lumen’s biggest show to date and a testament to the collective’s primary motivation to  first and foremost support great work, and tell the best and most well-rounded story as possible with each exhibition.

The final exhibitors comprised a multidisciplinary edit of ceramicists and creative technologists, painters and glass blowers, light artists and sound artists, multimedia artists and sculptors generated the richest possible realisation of the exhibition ranging from the representational to the abstract, literal and conceptual.



On Production: A team effort and the power of planning

As with any event, producing the exhibition was a considerable, voluntary team effort, especially for a show of this scale. Planning and open-source tools become your biggest ally alongside the ability to problem-solve on your feet – there’s always a solution!

During install, it was useful to see an agile approach to the curation process with a balance of managing artist requirements, responding to the space as it unfolds and working within the constraints of the venue.

The project was well-resourced in terms of team, a generously-sized venue and a budget allocation, supported by UAL Postgraduate Funding as well as exhibiting artists to ensure a professional production.



On Promotion: The exhibition is only the beginning

Running 26th and 27th May with a private view on the evening of the 25th, these exhibitions are always bittersweet projects lasting a a fraction of the time they deserve. However, the exhibition isn’t confined by the walls of the exhibition venues – it amplifies through other platforms as well as the stories of visitors.

The motivation of the exhibition was to start a new conversation so alongside 750+ physical visitors, the exhibition was supported by a limited edition zine featuring each artist, created by artist Sarah Bissel as well as a programme of social media outreach via our partners and networks. The legacy of the exhibition will also exist through film and photography.


Introducing ‘Cosmic Perspectives’: an exhibition with a new voice on climate change

Introducing ‘Cosmic Perspectives’: an exhibition with a new voice on climate change

Blogs by Becky Lyon and Hannah Pratt, co-producers of the exhibition and MA Art and Science Yr 1 Postgraduates

Cosmic Perspectives was an exhibition initiated by Lumen Studios, an art collective led by Melanie King, Louise Beer, Rebecca Huxley and Natasha Sabatini best known for their exhibitions, talks, symposia and residencies exploring the themes of astronomy and light.

Cosmic Perspectives however, was an exhibition with an intent to apply an astronomical viewpoint, literally and metaphorically on current conversations around ‘climate change’.

Image credit: NASA image galleries

One of the driving forces in the development of the exhibition theme was the concept of the ‘Overview Effect’, first coined by author Frank White in 1987 to describe the cognitive shift in awareness that results from the experience of viewing Earth from space. In an instant, the view of the astronaut or space traveller dramatically shifts the perception of themselves, what it means to be a human, and inhabitant or the Earth.

Image credit: NASA image galleries

The reference point is no longer territorial, but planetary. Lines between countries, let alone towns or cities become invisible, shrinking coastlines become visible. The motivation of the exhibition was to examine the fragility and monumental importance of life on Earth, from the darkness of space, create a new conversation around climate change and the overall damage and destruction we are causing to our environments, and explore how such concepts like the Overview Effect could have the power to alter collective perception of ecology.

Image credit: NASA image galleries

The realisation of the exhibition was a collective effort. The venue was generously supported by Ugly Duck, a revitalized listed building in the heart of historic Bermondsey, as part of their #artandhaktivism season.

The project was also awarded funding from the University of the Arts London Postgraduate Community Fund. Alongside Lumen’s existing UAL credentials (Melanie King, Louise Beer, Rebecca Huxley are all alumni), the funding created an opportunity for existing students to get involved in an exciting project from start to finish, receive mentoring from previous students and cultivate new skills in exhibition production and artist management.

Image credit: NASA image galleries

The two supporting Exhibition Producers were Becky Lyon and Hannah Pratt, both existing, first year students on the MA Art and Science Programme, Central Saint Martins incentivised to get involved with the exhibition from both sides of the story – nature/ environment + astronomy/physics.

Becky: “My own practice is motivated by shifting notions of ‘nature’ and ‘naturalness’ from the ‘wild’ to the ‘artificial’. I’m interested in exploring IF we as humans are able to transform our relationship with the earth, through novel technology, in its broadest sense from biovillans to bioremediators and what that planet will look like.  With Hannah, together we share a mutual wonder in the workings of the universe and nature’s perfect systems. A long, term admirer of the innovative (and prolific!) output of Lumen, I was delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with them”

Image credit: NASA image galleries

Hannah: “As my own work and practise focuses on the human relationship with both astronomy and light, Cosmic Perspectives completed my work and its aims perfectly. The work I created for the show drew on the history of space travel, outreach to the universe and most importantly space exploration. Working with Lumen has been particularly rewarding and I look forward to more collaborations in the future, working with Becky has been a joy because our work is speculative by nature and we both have the same attitude when it comes to working on projects. This show has been such a great learning experience and the skills I have learnt will definitely serve me well in the future”