Tu–Sa: 10 am–5 pm; Su&M: closed
fir•ma•ment /ˈfərməmənt/: The heavens or the sky, especially when regarded as a tangible thing.
A Firmament presents photographic and sculptural works about the transmission of light, both celestial and terrestrial. Its starting point is the artist, Blaine Campbell‘s, long-standing fascination with astronomy—dating back to his first purchases of Astronomy magazine at the age of six—coupled with forays into mathematics, religious symbolic systems, and contemporary representations of the transcendent and superterrestrial.
The light at play in these works has been mediated through various devices, including the telescope and darkroom enlarger. Included are photo collages from the series The Light of Their Eyes (2016) and Skyreach (2016), conflating mathematical constructs, stained glass motifs, and astrophotography from the Hubble Space Telescope archive. Light Study, a series of experimental photograms initiated during a residency at the Banff Centre in 2017, is based in the geometric systems used to construct Persian decorative patterning. New visual forms founded in this geometry are built through refractive interference of light, by way of a custom-made darkroom apparatus. Alongside these lens-based works, new sculptural works further an investigation into specular infinity cubes first presented by the artist in 2013.
Inspiration is taken from various sources, including the drawings of the seventeenth-century English polymath Robert Fludd, sculpture and drawings by Monir Farmanfarmaian and Timo Nasseri, and photographic experimentation by May Ray and László Maholy-Nagy, in addition to decorative systems using Persian and Islamic geometry.