New exhibition captures astronomy as art – Fields of Vision: Art and Astronomy

18 July 2014

A unique exhibition brings together a fresh, contemporary palette and an individualistic Australian angle to continue a historic and essential artistic link between art, the science of astronomy, and our wonder and appreciation of both.

The “Fields of Vision: Art and astronomy” exhibition has been specially scheduled and designed to celebrate the hosting by Macquarie University of the Annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and has been developed by Macquarie University Art Gallery in partnership with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University, and the MQ Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics (MQAAAstro).

Professor Quentin Parker from the Department of Physics and Astronomy says the idea of astronomy as art is obvious to anyone who has gazed at the marvels of the cosmos, and from as old a time as when the Aboriginal peoples examined the heavens as they sat around a camp-fire 40,000 years ago.

From the wall paintings in Ancient Egypt, and the religious and astrological representations of the heavens in medieval times, through to Van Gogh’s more recent ‘starry night’ people have had a fascination with the heavens and are mesmerised by the magnitude of the cosmos.

The exhibition includes a combination of works from a diverse variety of artists working in different media, which together present a compelling narrative about how the human mind visualises and idealises the universe.

“We may not always understand but we can always combine our imaginations with artistic interpretations and personal realisations of these mysteries to reveal something of our own nature and not just that of our Universe,” said Professor Parker. “Many would describe the vivid colours and amazing shapes and congregations of objects
displayed in the celestial firmament as natures’ own art gallery.”

Senior Curator of Macquarie of University Art Gallery, Rhonda Davis, said the artists offer material manifestations to the questions we continue to ask today surrounding the wonders of the Cosmos.

“Fields of Vision reflects a contemporary response to the Cosmos by a number of artists exploring the interstices between time, space, and travel, intrinsically linked with identity and humanity’s unrelenting quest to know the unknown and the invisible.”

Featured artists include Giles Alexander, Bronwyn Bancroft, Stephen Copland, Mark Davis, Paula Dawson, Rhonda Dee, Julie Dowling, Frank Hinder, Mike Kitching, Andrew Nott, Warren Reid, Guy Morgan, Arthur Wicks and Vernon Treweeke.

To be officially opened by Professor Quentin Parker on Monday 21 July, the exhibition will be open for public viewing from Monday 21 July to Friday 29 August.’

Event Details:
To be officially opened by Professor Quentin Parker, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University on Monday 21 July at 6pm.
RSVP essential by Monday 14 July 2014 (02) 9850 4468,

Macquarie University Art Gallery Faculty of Arts, Building E11A, Macquarie University (02) 9850 7437,
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10am–5pm
Campus Map: campus/maps/campus_map/

Related events:

Workshop with artist Stephen Copland
Thursday 24 July 11am–1pm

Art and Astronomy floor talk
Explore the exhibition with independent curator and writer Lizzie Marshall
Wednesday 13 August 1–2pm

Artist talk with Vernon Treweeke
Wednesday 27 August 1–2pm

For further information about the events program, visit:

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