Syzygy | Katie Paterson
The Lowry, Salford, UK, 30 April – 30 July 2016

Katie Paterson focuses on themes of nature, ecology, geology and cosmology, underpinned by in-depth scientific research, and an emphasis on diverse collaborations with writers, astronomers, nanotechnologists and musicians. As an overarching theme of her work, the astronomic term “Syzygy” describes an alignment of celestial bodies, specifically a straight-line configuration of the sun, earth and moon which is believed to cause moonquakes and more powerful ocean tides. Just like that, the show aligns Paterson’s new and her most powerful works to date.

Totality (2016) is a major new commission for The Lowry, in parallel with Arts Council Collection / Somerset House. The artwork is a mirrorball that will reflect nearly every solar eclipse seen from earth, featuring 10,000 images of solar eclipses from across the world, and throughout history, exploring the relationship of our earth to the sun and the solar system. The second commission, Ara (2016) is an immersive light installation: a string of festoon lights matching the brightness of stars in a constellation.

The show will include other works such as the Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon) (2007), a haunting recording of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata reflected from the moon’s surface via radio transmission; Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky (2012) meteorite, which has been cast, melted, and then re-cast back into a new version of itself, warping of the billions of years of pressure, formation and erosion; the 100 Billion Suns (2011) confetti cannon with each piece of paper matched to the colours of the brightest explosions in the universe; Timepieces (Solar System) (2014), a series of clocks that tell the time on other planets and All the Dead Stars (2009), a large map documenting the locations of 27,000 dead stars known to humanity.  The exhibition is part of Week 53, a major new cross arts festival at The Lowry with the theme Locus – an exploration of our relationship with placePaterson’s exhibition will raise questions about our place in the cosmos.