Day Four of the Starlight Residency was designated as a ‘creative responses’ day – there were few events on the timetable to allow for time to make, think and process all that has been learnt, discussed and shared over the previous few days. Carolyn Kennett did run some quick Q&A sessions in smaller groups, to answer any of the more difficult astronomy concepts, and there was a live-streamed heritage walk from Boscawen-Un in the far West Penwith.

Find some of the artists’ responses detailed below.

Olga Suchanova

I made provisional video about the ‘Invisible Universe’ with the sound from the Universe.

Close up from the painting ‘Invisible Universe’. I took up Milena’s challenge and I was inspired by the colours of the Universe. It’s not Hubble pallet, but the elements of the Universe, which Lucinda Offer showed us.


Anna Walsh

2 creative provocations in 1! In response to Joanna’s to add something back into your practice which you used to do but don’t do any longer,  and also Susan’s to work in a way you don’t normally, if you usually work very precisely to be messy (as well as being inspired by Amy’s drawing workshop)…. I picked up my oil bars for the first time in about 20 years, and made some messy expressive drawings! I used for reference photos I had taken of bits of trees that looked quite cosmic to me. I tried in one to use more cosmic/colourful colours, but didn’t like the outcome! Apart from that I enjoyed it thoroughly and I don’t think it will be another 20 years before I do some more….

Some more experiments, drawing into soot (after burning the glass) on a glass slide. I was looking at some of Joyce Datiles atmospheric photos of the moon when I drew them. I was thinking of Michele’s provocation of using a material that is associated with the subject and soot is a cause of pollution meaning often these events are obscured from our view (although probably technically light pollution so a slightly tenuous link!). I was also inspired by Melanie King’s talk and her mention of the glass plates she had seen.  It looked better from a distance, so more practice required! The first one is showing in an ancient slide viewer. Ive also answered my own provocation of making something really big really small!

Milena Michalski

I finally caught some glimpses of the Supermoon at around 1am this morning (27th May), but partially obscured by trees. These photos are not exactly conventional Supermoon shots: two are amazingly reminiscent of the ‘starlight’ photos I posted here on Day 1 of the residency, and the other is also completely abstract yet linear.

Cosmic chemigrams & cyanotypes. I took up Susan’s provocation to work in a looser way, as I usually work in a more precise way, and really went to town with mess, randomness and rule-breaking! I created chemigrams, using household substances such as coffee (from which I made Caffenol developer), honey, Vaseline, vinegar, and then I added splashes of cyanotype solution and exposed the print. This is not a traditional way to use photographic paper or cyanotype solution, and the results were a real surprise to me.

Michele Kothari

I responded to Susan’s provocation … to work in a way opposite to the normal.  I am usually quite controlled and neat so I went to the opposite.  I ripped up the drawings I made with Amy (sorry!) and i ripped the paper against the grain (as a book artist I am always working with the grain!), i then glued them together and splashed some cyanotype on them (I never splash cyanotype) and exposed it with a glass paperweight on top.  The outcome was very surprising as I had assumed the paint and pastel would wash away in the water but this is the result.

Melissa Hampson-Smith

Work made in response to Joanna Mayes: ‘Bring something back into to your practice that you used to do.’ We used to walk for miles with all our art kit & lunch, making paintings, even working in water soluble oils out in the field!! So today we made it out again to the wilds a nice distance from the car. In a barrel of pain from torn ligaments & arthritis but the trek was extremely worth it as I made works that I can’t make from the car. I would be situated in what is normally a car park!!

Working on reclaimed Copper with heavily patina. Drawing into the patina  & thinking about the energy of a star. Making in  response to Anna Walsh & her response in oil bar to Joanna Mayes: add something back into your practice.

Amy Albright

In response to Alice’s provocation I decided to spend time outside at dusk. I also wanted to use a medium that I don’t normally use (think that was Susan’s provocation!?) I took this photograph in my garden, Reflections in dusk light and a drop of Cornish rain. Also inspired by Susan Derges a photographer I admire who does a lots of photography with moon light.

I made these photographs and a video thinking about the moon rising with a torch. I’ve never made a video before but I’m excited about these and they might inform further work.

Amy’s Video

Alice Courvoisier

This image was taken looking NE at the ridgeline of the Preselis. Right opposite to were the large, orange Moon rose, Venus was setting, the first time I caught sight of her returning as evening star. I felt very grateful. On the image, she’s a bright dot, close to the ridge line, just to the right of the lowest dip in the hills.

Joyce Datiles


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