Fermi National Laboratory



Thru A Distant Lens: Sherri Smith & Barbara Cervenka


Both of our recent series of works are based on images from NASA. Barbara is using Hubble Space Telescope photographs; Sherri is using both images of other parts of the solar system sent back by our space probes and charts of images taken on Apollo Missions before our landing on the moon. We are the first generation to have access to these images and the information they contain, to be able to look so far back in space and time and so closely at our companions in the solar system. The universe presented to us is beautiful - light storms exploding billions of years ago, millions of galaxies, the birth of stars, the fantastic details of the geology of our neighbors in space. Star maps show us incomprehensible details of the depths of time and the unbelievable immensity of space, yet coexist with the minute miracles of earth - the opening of flowers, the symmetry of plants, the perfect geometry of skeleton and shell, and our fragile monuments hand-built on earth. Both these dimensions are part of Barbara's paintings, and in their dark mirrors we too are reflected. Sherri's images concern both the beauty of the diverse occupants of our solar system and the artifacts of our imaging techniques. Artificial color can reveal deep structure. Many overlapping photographs with different resolutions together make a composite view of extraterrestrial bodies with stunning and fascinating details. We both find these images from our space program worth celebrating. We are excited by these photographs that are a result of the most recent technologies and we find it interesting to work on them in two of the oldest technologies, painting and weaving.


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