in the arms of a nebula: the birth and death of stars.
Heidi K. Rettig (2008) Mixed-media/encaustic on reclaimed pine. 4” x 5” x 1” .
This mixed-media work is a cyanotype print of an original digital photograph on kozo paper. The print is layered over a vintage photo of radio telescopes at Mullard Observatory in Cambridge, England.
The piece is finished encaustic wax, making the kozo paper transparent and collapsing the distance between the two images to make them one.
In 1967, Jocelyn Bell, a PhD student in astrophysics was the first to pick up "noise" from space using radio telescopes. In spite of her discovery, Bell was passed over for the Nobel Prize, which was ultimately awarded to her two male professors.
Jocelyn went on to have a very successful career in astrophysics, and has always been recognized in the field as the first to “hear” the birth and death of stars.
This piece is a last-minute submission to "Night Visions III", organized by Flagstaff Cultural Partners. The show opens September 27 and will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the International Dark Skies movement, which began in Flagstaff in 1958. A noble cause.