Katie Paterson’s garage contains moon dust. It’s stored alongside offcuts from a mammoth’s thighbone and a collection of wood samples from 10, 000 different trees, each acquired in the name of art. In her work, Paterson poses searching existential questions in the form of poetic acts, whether that be setting up a live phone line to a melting glacier, sending a meteorite back into space or bouncing a recording of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata off the surface of the moon…
Julian Charrière And Katie Paterson: Meteors And Metabolisms, by Nicolas Bourriaud
“Katie Paterson and Julian Charrière are currently exhibiting in parallel. In both of their oeuvres, human existence itself is not shown, but is instead resituated in its cosmic or geological position, represented in the general context of the biomass. And both, in their respective works, implement temporalities of great amplitude. Their works could thus belong to a neo-metaphysical movement in contemporary art, which will undoubtedly remain associated with the beginning of the twenty-first century in future accounts of the history of art. Because the essential question for the artists of our time is the meaning of their work in a world in danger.”
On the aromas of the first and last forests, by David Haskell
“Humans have used incense for thousands of years, mostly as a bridge to what dwells beyond the everyday, through prayer, oblation, and ritual. To Burn, Forest, Fire places that experience into the context of deep time and the living Earth community.”
At the 12th-century Lismore Castle, Ireland, a group show ‘Light and Language’ explores the enduring legacy of American conceptual and land art pioneer Nancy Holt. Scottish artist Katie Paterson has created a new work responding to the architecture of Lismore Castle. Her ‘Ideas’ wall pieces are subtle: short texts that ‘when read come alive through the visitor’s imaginations’. Discrete in scale, they are cut from silver and reflect brightly when the light hits them. The artist reflects on her affinity with Holt’s artistic sensibilities: ‘her work showed me how expansive art can be; through its material form (she worked across mediums) it’s scale, its conceptual language and emotional and perceptual impact. Nancy Holt worked with the cyclical time of the universe, the motions of the earth and the sun. She aimed to ‘connect people with the planet earth’, to bring ‘the sky down to earth’ which chimes very much with my approach.’
Contemplating deep space and ‘cosmic archaeology’, the artist reflects on her fascination with the universe beyond planet Earth.
“I was sitting in a cupboard in Reykjavik when I learned that it was possible to send messages to the moon. I was scrolling through pages of lunar information and came across the technology ‘Earth-Moon-Earth’, which allows messages to be sent to the moon and back, fragmented by space and distance. Later, walking under a full moon, I imagined what messages I might transmit there myself….” Katie Paterson
Interview, Paterson, Artist of deep time, Nature Magazine
Philip Ball talks to Katie Paterson, whose artworks take on climate change, Moon dust and the death of stars.
The focus of this final NOW moment is Glasgow-born Katie Paterson, with the first major presentation of her work in Scotland. Like the celestial bodies she concerns herself with, Paterson’s work evolves slowly, and this show brings together projects from the last decade. Embracing ideas of cosmic scale and significance, she has developed quietly ingenious ways of fitting them inside our heads. Applying both rigorous research and rigorous conceptualism, she takes material which often appears closed and distant and cracks it open, finding not existential angst but a kind of wonder and poetry.
Scottish artist Katie Paterson has described time as the “material” with which she creates her work. In this modest but significant survey her playful, rigorously researched works tick with the passing of millennia as stars die, solar eclipses pass, and planets spin. Shown across six rooms, the show brings together 11 works from 2007 to the present and marks—with separate contributions from Darren Almond, Shona Macnaughton, and Lucy Raven—the final exhibition in the gallery’s contemporary art series “NOW.”
How to future-proof a work of art that will not be completed for 100 years, The Art Newspaper
As Katie Paterson’s sand castle project goes on tour, we look at how her Future Library is being made to outlive the artist.
The artist who once sent a meteorite back into orbit is now looking for the heavenly in Turner’s paintings, in a show that explodes with moonlight and gamma ray confetti.
Katie Paterson’s visionary exploration of time, space and the beauty of the cosmos.
“Lift a handful of sand, let it slip between your fingers and contemplate the eons that have passed, the civilisations that have risen and crumbled away before time milled it to this fineness. It drifts and obscures, burying crops, grazing land, cities and entire civilisations; yet sometimes it shifts to reveal what has been lost.” James Attlee
“Someone once tried to explain the concept of infinity to me by saying that if an eagle flew past a mountain every million years and touched it lightly with its wingtip, by the time the mountain had crumbled to nothing, that might equate to one second of forever.” Helen Pheby
“An expanse of sand is the most eternal of landscapes and the most changeable. As we build our mountains, we remember that our labours are ephemeral, our lives are short and everything must change.” Patrick Barkham
“Sand is mesmerising: both ordinary and enchanted, intimate and infinite, a marker of time – the three-minute egg: the five-minute essay – as well as of infinities of scale…” Richard Hamblyn
“How small, how fragile can a work of art be before it drifts away on the wind or floats out to sea? And how large, or long-drawn-out, before we are unable to apprehend it all at once?” Brian Dillon