The Contemporary Art Society has purchased Southern Light Station II (2015) by Noémie Goudal (b. 1984) for UH Galleries, University of Hertfordshire. This is the second acquisition of Goudal’s work for CAS Museum Members in the past year, with her Satellite I and Satellite II being placed in Mead Art Gallery, Warwick and Leamington Spa Art Gallery in 2015.
Southern Light Stations is Goudal’s latest series of work and reflects the artist’s interest in man-made interventions in the natural world. Working in an ambiguous state between illusion and reality, Goudal uses the series to explore the 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 an 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. 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.