July 17th - August 31st 2018
Opening Reception 19th July, 6-9pm
ARGONAUT Gallery, San Francisco
"Artist Owen Gildersleeve has created a body of nine original artworks informed by groundbreaking celestial data gathered by the Kepler Spacecraft over the past nine years. These seemingly abstract pieces tell the tale of newly discovered exoplanets; planets that orbit stars outside of our own solar system. Now running out of fuel, Kepler is estimated to cease its mission over the coming months, and so to celebrate its discoveries Owen has selected nine of its greatest findings to visualise for this new exhibition ‘Observations from the Unknown’.
Kepler is a space observatory launched by NASA in 2009, with the aim to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy in search of new exoplanets. It has discovered a staggering number of exoplanets nearing 2,500 since it’s launch, including a host of Earth- sized planets that orbit the habitable zone of their stars known as the Goldilocks Zone, where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold and so leading to the possibility of life.
Nobody actually knows exactly what these new planets look like, and so far visuals tend to be created using educated guess work. Taking a different approach, Owen decided to visualise his chosen planets creating a series of forms that represent details such as the orbital periods, mass, radius and age, featuring concentric rings, starbursts and swirls that take the viewer on their own journey around the artwork. He has brought the pieces to life using hand-crafted layers constructed from a mixture of physical papercuttings and experimental materials. The result is a series of deeply layered pieces playing with scale and hierarchy, that simultaneously communicate data from Kepler’s mission whilst abstractly spelling out the names of each planet and star system featured.
Alongside his papercut creations Owen will also be showing a selection of new large-scale artworks, pushing his handcrafted layered style into exciting new territories. He will also be holding a selection of workshops in the gallery during the course of the show, allowing visitors the chance to try out papercutting for themselves."