Situated nearly 2400m above the surrounding ocean, the telescopes of the IAC Observatory on La Palma offers astronomers some of the best night-sky views on earth. Every evening, their giant optics track across the sky, imaging hazy nebulae and distant galaxies. Located on the westernmost of the Canary Islands, the facility is perched on the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera, high above clouds that drift towards the coast of Africa. Silent and remote, it is truly a world apart – an island at the edge of the universe.
As part of their ongoing ‘24 Hours, Here’ series, photographer John Hooper and filmmaker Mike Moloney were invited by super/collider to visit La Palma and capture this unique and otherwordly landscape. Beyond the towering peaks, they explored wind-swept landscapes, misty forests, sun-bleached tarmac and quietly humming telescope control rooms … once leading-edge but now empty and abandoned. The combination of images, short films and found objects that make up ISLAND / UNIVERSE are a record of that trip – a glimpse at the surreal side of a facility that is advancing our knowledge of the cosmos.
Exhibition runs 29th July – 13th August 2011
available as a limited edition of 9 C-type prints
on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper.