Jacob's Ladder (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Jacob's Ladder

credit: Georges Méliès, Le Voyage dans la Lune, 1902

A star-studded space themed exhibition at Ingleby Gallery

Last month's blood moon eclipse may have passed, but fifty years since Stanley Kubrick's A Space Odyssey transformed Arthur C Clarke's short story into an audacious widescreen epic, and just one year less since Neil Armstrong's legendary moonwalk, space is still very much the place. With this in mind, Ingleby Gallery's Edinburgh Art Festival group show of fifteen artists seen in tandem with the University of Edinburgh's Astronomy Victorious exhibition aims for the stars.

This is perfectly evoked by 'Colour Field' (2016), Katie Paterson's re-imagining of the Los Angeles night sky and its dancing neon lights. One can orbit from Marine Hugonnier's redacted American and Russian newspaper front pages of the moon landings in 'Art For Modern Architecture' (2018), past Paterson's moulded meteorite in 'Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky' (2014), to Alicja Kwade's half-ton boulder 'Stellar Day' (2013) revolving in an excruciating anti-clockwise fashion.

Both David Austen's waggish film, 'Smoking Moon' (2007), in which a crescent moon sucks on a tab, and Georges Melies' vintage moving picture, 'Le Voyage dans la Lune' (1902), provide lightness amongst the heaviness, though it is left to 'From home' (2018), Peter Liversidge's seemingly free-standing tape measure, and Jonny Lyons' ladder in 'High Bias' (2018) to really defy gravity.

For all the supersonic trip-scapes on show, there is nothing on this planet that can compete with images taken by NASA and the crews of Apollo 8 and 9. Astronaut Bill Anders' seminal 1968 photograph, 'Earthrise', encapsulates a new dawn, and astonishes still.

Ingleby, Edinburgh until Sat 20 Oct

Jacob’s Ladder

  • 4 stars

In the words of Arthur C. Clarke: "Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.”   Jacob’s Ladder celebrates mankind's relationship with space and our enduring attempts to fathom the unfathomable. Included are rare historical works alongside…