Monday, February 24, 2014

Sophy Rickett's Objects in the Field on POSTmatter

Sophy Rickett, Observation 111, 1991/2013

“Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett’s uniquely positive phrase encapsulates the curious optimism of Sophy Rickett’s new collaborative exhibition, in which the possibilities of photography are expanded. Over the course of her time as Associate Artist at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, she worked closely with Dr Roderick Willstrop, a retired scientist of the department. His design of the Three Mirror Telescope enabled him to effectively photograph the night sky, recording the movements of the stars above. Their trails were slowly exposed upon a specially cut negative, punched out of a 5×4 film to fit perfectly upon the lens of the telescope. When she met Dr Willstrop he was preparing to place the complete set of 125 negatives, unprinted, into the museum archive – a process interrupted by Rickett when she decided to embrace their subtle beauty by printing them herself. 

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