Muzzle Flash, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0835, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0834, MFG0823, MFG0832, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS001, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS002, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS003, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS004, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS006, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFS005, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0883, MFG0892, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0896, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0886, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0851, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013
MFG0862, from the Celestial Objects Series, 2013

Celestial Objects (2013)

“Aim”, “shoot” and “fire”; the language of the gun is shared with that of photography and film. It’s not surprising that the camera and gun evolved together. In the 1880s cameras with sequential frames for time and motion studies were made from modified guns with a rotating disc of light sensitive film recording in the place of the bullet that would have frozen motion. Sarah Pickering

Celestial Objects, has been made by photographing a revolver fired in total darkness.  Each photographic exposure captures the entirety of a gunshot from start to finish.  Contrary to the high-speed fraction of suspended action used in scientific imagery by Harold Edgerton known for his micro second photographs of nuclear explosions and bullets in mid flight, these images are a summation of the durational energy and action that the camera witnessed.

Sitting on the line between objective fact and imagined reality, the fragments of muzzle flash reference images of deep space, epic cinema and the skies of romantic painters such as John Martin. The slippage between cataloguing observation and subjective association is territory that fascinates Pickering who proposes that instead of fixing a certainty, the representations we make of the world amplify our doubts about the experiences we have of reality.

Celestial Objects, is a commission by Locus+, in partnership with North East Photography Network (NEPN).  Muzzle Flash from the series was exhibited at the Media Space in the Science Museum, London & the National Media Museum, Bradford as part of the exhibition Revelations – Experiments in Photography.

Exhibition notes from Aim and Fire exhibition, Durham Museum & Art Gallery 2014