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Large Studio

Melanie King


Melanie is interested in the relationship between the environment, photography and materiality.

Melanie intends to highlight the intimate connection between celestial objects (sun, moon, stars), photographic material and the natural world.

Melanie is currently researching a number of sustainable photographic processes, to minimise the environmental impact of her artistic practice, informed by the Sustainable Darkroom movement.

Melanie's 2021-2022 project "Precious Metals" considers the materiality of silver and palladium, from the production of silver and palladium within the cosmos, extraction from Earth and its uses within our society. This project focuses on their use in photography, suggesting methods of using the material that is less harmful to the ecology of the Earth.

Her PhD practice-based research "Ancient Light: Rematerialising The Astronomical Image" considers how light travels thousands, if not millions of years, before reaching photosensitive film or a digital sensor. Her main body of photographs “Ancient Light” comprises of analogue photographs of star-scapes, as well as a series of images created using telescopes and observatories around the world.

Her practice-based research has taken her on a journey far and wide, including collaborative projects with the UCLO Observatory in London, Kielder Observatory on the border of England and Scotland, the Laboratory for Dark Matter Research in Boulby, UK and the EU Commission in Ispra, Italy. Melanie has participated in residencies in Iceland, Italy, Spain, Ireland, the Lake District (UK) and Cornwall (UK) to spend time underneath the night sky. For her research, she has also analysed analogue astronomical specimens within the UCL Space History Archive and the Royal Astronomical Society in London. Further afield, Melanie has visited the Mount Wilson Observatory, Carnegie Archives and Hale Solar Laboratory in California, USA as well as the European Space Agency in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Recent work has been inspired by Melanie's move to Kent, UK, where she is in close proximity to dark skies, dramatic sunsets and a tumultuous sea.

Photo credit to ITV / Theo De Proost.