Last weekend the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey aired, Carl Sagan’s masterpiece reimagined. In celebration, NASA unveiled a gallery of images, aptly titled “NASA Images of a Spacetime Odyssey.” It’s a gorgeous collection of some new, and some familiar images, from NASA’s repertoire of galactic exploration. More than that, this gallery is one of those beautiful moments when art converges with science, serving a dose of liberating reality, to aid in easing the troubles of our daily lives.
Irish graphic designer Cian McKenna has a bit soft spot for swimming. For the last few years he’s been heading down to ‘the 40ft’ for a swim. This secluded cove is located just south of Dublin city and has been a popular place for swimmers for more than 250 years. With camera in-hand he’s been documenting these excursions and the resulting work is really beautiful.
Last year the acclaimed American photographer Steve McCurry was invited to the remote Omo Valley region of Southwest Ethiopia by a local charity called Omo Child. Set-up by Lale Lubuko and photographer John Rowe, the charity aims to provide a safe, nurturing home and quality education for children and infants who are considered by their tribe to be mingi.
Controlled Burns is a series of imposing images by the American photographer Kevin Cooley. Consisting of large, swirling clouds of smoke, these photographs are as beautiful as they are dramatic.
For Cooley, these images serve as a metaphor for opposition. “Fire is a powerful natural force that we harness for greater good” he says, “it is the only Classical element that we can create on demand, yet when out of control it has the potential for grave destruction”. At the heart of this series lies a simple duality – we can create fire and yet fire brings destruction.
Riitta Päiväläinen is a Finnish artist based in Helsinki, a place that I imagine to be very cold. I don’t know what I would have to wear to be warm there but I imagine it would be a lot more than the shorts and sweater usually donned in Southern California: Finland is a long way climatically from where I am. Her makes this known very clearly as she studies clothing placed against stark, clear snowy backdrops. They are photographed and always appear frozen, stiff and caught in limbo between falling and flying: they are transitional. The objects in the image represent former wearers and the way she presents them emphasize said lost pasts. Who knew freezing clothes could mean so much?