Julie Louise Bacon | Alchemical Dialogues

Alchemical Dialogues

  • 22 Jul

  • jbacon

For this site-responsive installation in landscape, I used low, medium and high grade solar spotlights to plot a map of Northern stars in a large desert site around Broken Hill in the Southern Hemisphere. The work was part of Desert Equinox, the first festival of solar art works in Australia, organised by the Environmental Research Initiative for Art (ERIA) in 2012. The event opened on 21st September, the day of the Spring Equinox.

Using a software application that generates data about the night sky, I projected the Northern constellations that would be visible at the exact longitude and latitude of the Australian outback mining town of Broken Hill. The land art work created an impossible meeting – of planetary seasons, and astronomical phenomena – between the nightsky of the Spring Equinox in the South, and the Autumn equinox in the North.




The work is part of an ongoing series that explores our relationship with time through the use of light, an exploration of technology, and interventions in landscape.

The title of the series – Alchemical Dialogues – brings to mind the cusp between philosophy and science, in the practice of alchemy. Here, the site and action of research concerns the dynamics of the imagination and those of matter, and above all the interplay of the two.