An Imperfect Account of a Comet

An Imperfect Account of a Comet

18 Nov, 202216 Apr, 2023

Included in admission

The Angle, First Light Pavilion
10am – 4pm (last admission 3.30pm)

An Imperfect Account of a Comet is an audio-visual installation by Lynda Laird celebrating the celestial discoveries of the 18th century astronomer Caroline Herschel.

The work is presented as 560 photographic glass plates of stars that Herschel noticed were missing from the British Star Catalogue and serves to bring these ‘omitted’ stars to light. As such, they represent the many women whose ground-breaking knowledge and wisdom has been overlooked, undervalued, and ignored throughout history.

During her lifetime, Herschel also discovered 8 comets and 14 nebulae, which are acknowledged in an accompanying sound composition, 8 Comets by Annie Needham and Phil Tomsett. This musical and spoken word piece is structured according to the precise charted orbits of the comets and is interspersed with words from Herschel’s private journals and observational writings.

About Lynda Laird

Lynda Laird is a photographic artist based in St Leonards on Sea. Her research-based practice merges archive, photography, video and sound. Employing techniques, methods and materials that are sympathetic and relevant to the subject. Lynda has recently worked on two long-term artist residencies In France, exhibited internationally and won a number of awards, she was nominated for the Magnum Graduate award in 2017. Her work has been featured on the BBC, Newsnight, CNN Style, The Guardian, BJP, Huck and Fisheye magazine, amongst others.

She is currently working as the photographic artist in residence at the Royal Astronomical Society, creating a body of work based around her research in their archive.