In 2013, Sophy Rickett, held the post of Associate Artist at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, were she met Dr. Roderick Willstrop, who invented a three mirrored telescope and his work inspires Rickett’s project, Objects in the Field and displayed at The Museum of the History of Science and reviewed on the Photomonitor website.
Rickett, interviewed D. Willstrop and with his permission printed some black and white negatives of photographs made by his three mirrored telescope that he built at the University. Rickett, using digital technology for wider tonal print and aesthetic qualities she exhibited these photos with some of her own with examples of scientific instruments and linking a video and text. Rickett’s text consists of a narrative of her experiences working with Dr. Willstrop and juxtaposing this with childhood anecdotal experiences that complemented her story.
This postmodernist documentary approach is based upon a professional relationship that Rickett developed with Dr. Willstrop in order to understand his work and create and artistic project from it. Using the insider technique of meeting and getting to know Dr. Willstrop, Rickett hoped to find ways of aligning her artistic practices with Dr. Willsrops scientific practices, hoping that she could find away through their commonly shared interests. She however feels that she failed to achieve this and although she was able to put together a good exhibition she still doesn’t know if Dr. Willstrop liked it or not. The exhibition appears to have been fairly successful and interesting; but reading between the lines, I wonder if the three mirrored telescope project was a painful memories for Dr. Willstrop that Rickett was racking up.