Noémie Goudal’s (b.1984) latest series of work, entitled Southern Light Stations, reflects the artist’s interest in man-made interventions in the natural world. She continues to photograph her constructions in natural environments, using them to distort the landscape and our understanding of it.
Working in an ambiguous state between illusion and reality, Goudal uses the series to explore the imperceptible nature of celestial space. She considers myths, legends, religious symbolism and early scientific theory in her reflections on human relationships and our fascination with the sky above us. In the work Southern Light Station II (2015), Goudal makes a clever distortion of the sky using one of her signature paper backdrops. In this instance, the backdrop is created using and archive image of a daguerreotype photograph of the sun, one of the first on known record.
UH Galleries, University of Hertfordshire, chose to acquire Southern Light Station II as a reinforcement of a growing strand of contemporary photography by emerging artists within their collection. Goudal’s preoccupation with man-made observatories and celestial space has a direct relationship with the University’s School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics and, particularly, Bayfordbury Observatory, one of the best-equipped teaching observatories in the UK.
The UH Galleries’ art collection is exhibited across campus rather than within a dedicated museum space, and Goudal’s striking and enigmatic image will stimulate interest and curiosity, taking the university population beyond the boundaries of their subject disciplines and daily routine.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015