(Photo credit: Jo Bradford, 7 Galaxies, 2009, 7 x Unique Photograms and Cliche Verres, made using meteorites and space dust.)
That’s right – UK photographer Jo Bradford produced these images with the assistance of meteorites and space dust.
Working in my darkroom, I arrange meteorite fragments onto light sensitive paper, making several exposures, one for each colour. The space-dust blocks light during the exposures to create the stars in my galaxies. The creation process is a truly revelatory experience, my visual sense entirely detached by the darkness, the olfactory sense is amplified; the powerful metallic odour of the chondrites is intensely reminiscent of blood. Meteors are commonly associated with both the wonder of planetary formation and the terror of potentially cataclysmic extinction level events. Handling this interstellar dust I am intensely aware that the alien matter in my hands forms the very building blocks of everything we know.
When this work is presented without accompanying text, I am often asked, “What kind of telescope did you use to take these photos?” In considering the authenticity of my outcomes, the realism of the subject appears validated by the inherent perception of truth conferred by the photographic medium. When all is said and done, my pictures of the stars do posses some truth, as the direct indexical trace of the stardust used in their creation.
The pictures in this gallery are cameraless in their creation. Known as photograms, they are an obscure photographic printmaking technique that predates the invention of photography.
The demise (tho it has been somewhat resurrected) of Polaroid also hit home for Bradford. She has expanded her personal farewell to the cult film into a year long project – a Polaroid a day for 2010. You can follow the project at 365goodbyes
See more of Jo’s work at www.jobradford.com