Argentea Gallery’s final exhibition of 2020 is Wavelengths, a solo exhibition by PhD Fine Art candidate Melanie King, whose practice combines science and art and interprets natural phenomena using a variety of frequencies of light.
Wavelengths is a series of previously unseen photographs made on infrared film during a residency in Kilpisjärvi, Finland and in Margate, Kent. Focussing her camera on plants, trees, lichen and seaweed, King created photographs saturated in striking pink tones – the infrared film rendering the colours and textures of the natural forms in glowing magenta.
In her Ancient Light series, produced during residencies at Grizedale Forest (UK), Joya AIR (Spain), Atina (Italy) and the UCLO Observatory, London, King ventured outside in the darkness, embracing the starlit landscapes to create a series of black and white, long-exposure photographs of the night sky. She is intent on capturing light that has travelled for thousands, if not millions, of years before reaching the photosensitive film.
Commonly used within the field of astronomy to view distant galaxies and nebulae, infrared photography allows us to see phenomena in a way we would not usually see with the naked eye. Similarly, long exposures of the stars allow us to see streaks of ancient light in the sky as the Earth turns on its axis. King is interested in the relationship between astronomy, photography and materiality, in particular the innate connection between the photograph as object and the Earth itself.
King is an internationally exhibited interdisciplinary artist, with a studio and darkroom in Ramsgate, Kent and a practice-based PhD Candidate in Fine Art / Printmaking at the Royal College of Art. She is a lecturer and co-director of the London Alternative Photography Collective, Lumen Studios International and super/collider.