David Stephenson1955 - Star Drawing 2005/2 (W + NW, 1-2/9/2005, Central Australia) 2005
- Type C colour print
Image: David Stephenson Star Drawings on display in the exhibition LUMINOUS WORLD, Contemporary art from the Wesfarmers Collection, on display at Samstag Museum, Adelaide in 2014. Photograph by Sam Noonan.
lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania
Star drawings 2005-2006
set of 3 chromogenic prints from an edition of 5, ed. 1 of 5
125cm x 160cm each
Acquired in 2009
David Stephenson's Star drawings, produced from images taken of the night skies over the Central Australian Desert, embody a poetic response to the immensity and spectacle of deep space. Stephenson uses long, multiple and periodic exposures to craft his Star drawings, opening the shutter to focus on a specific segment of sky for several hours, then closing it to re-focus his lens on a slightly different field of vision.
The resulting overlay of exposures creates arcs of light that intersect at different trajectories across the surface of his prints. Stephenson's engagement with light is both factual and abstract, an accurate record of celestial events, as well as an expressive drawing with light and his images are alive with the detail of stars whose light may have taken anywhere from decades to hundreds of thousands of years to reach our eyes. Through them Stephenson is striving, in his own words, for 'a contemporary expression of the sublime a transcendental experience of awe with the vast space and time of existence.
David Stephenson, quoted in Sublime space: photographs by David Stephenson 1989-1998, National Gallery of Victoria.
© David Stephenson