Humanity has long held a deep interest in the night sky. Since the dawn of our existence we’ve strived to understand what was happening above us. Ancient astronomers used the night sky to predict things like seasons for growth and harvest and when and where to migrate, etc. We did not understand what those pinpoints of light were until relatively recently in our common history. New discoveries led to new questions and new theories. All of this led to improved technology and it was all driven by human curiosity.
This curiosity has shaped the perspective of the two artists – Dr. Eric Coles & Martin Murphy - in Imaging the Cosmos. Dr. Coles is formally trained as a research biochemist. He has held research positions with Harvard and Columbia medical schools in addition to founding Alexon Biomedical and Xickle LLC. Beyond his research and business background Dr. Coles has always been keenly interested in all things scientific, especially related to astronomy.
For the past 23 years Martin Murphy has worked in the Accelerator Operations department at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. There he works with operators, physicists, engineers, and technicians to make high power proton beam for unrivaled neutrino production.
Mr. Murphy has been an avid photographer and amateur astronomer for many years. He too has taken advantage of technological improvements to image the sky in places ranging from his backyard in light polluted Chicagoland to mountain tops in Chile. He was part of a team producing images for the Dark Energy Survey. The images have been in various journals, websites and publications like National Geographic.
While Dr. Coles focuses on bringing distant and faint objects to life for his viewers, Mr. Murphy often incorporates a wider view of the sky and landscape. Viewed together these artists bring complementary perspectives to similar subject matter. Dr. Coles reveals the splendor of objects that appear small in the sky and Mr. Murphy exposes the grandeur that is always present but rarely seen in today’s light-polluted world.
Imaging the Cosmos will be on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery from March 20 to May 22, 2020. An opening reception is scheduled on March 20 from 5-7 pm. All are welcome.