Otherworlds: Visions of our Solar System

I caught ‘Otherworlds’ three days before it closed at the Natural History Museum, thanks to my friend Matthew Stradling. He thought it would be just my sort of thing – with stunningly abstract detail images from across the solar system (looking like Cocteau Twins EP covers or internationally acclaimed textile art) shown with awe inspiring planetary images. He was right, some of the images here took my breathe away.

My photos of the exhibition are, of course, photos of images by Michael Benson, which were assembled from the NASA Agency data beamed back from various spacecraft exploring the solar system. Some reviews complained that the show fell between two stools, being neither informative enough to be a truly great science exhibition nor ‘artistic’ enough to be a memorable artistic achievement. I think that this completely misses the point of the show – to take us to the other worlds in our neighbourhood, with images that transport us out into the blackness of space. And the fact that having captured our imaginations, the curators can slip in some ‘sciency stuff’, when they have our complete attention, then all the better. You can read more in an interview with Michael in Creative Review.

Don’t worry if you missed the show, you can still buy the book! And my full set of photos can be seen here. Michael is represented in the uk by Flowers Gallery.

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