Background Info

In 2019 Lynda Laird started working as the photographic artist in residence with the Royal Astronomical Society, where the research for this project began. She was given access to their archive and was drawn to the women who were assisting their brothers and husbands, creating significant contributions to the fields of astronomy and science, yet spending their time in the shadows of the men.  These women were  intelligent and wanted to gain an education, yet were designated tasks such as sewing, cleaning and maintaining the house, whilst being actively discouraged from reading, learning, furthering their education and pursuing their interests.  Coming across the archive, journals and observations of Caroline Herschel, Lynda decided to create a body of work around her discoveries with this imbalance in mind. She was particularly drawn to the 560 stars Caroline noticed were missing from the British Catalogue, it felt a poignant metaphor that Caroline brought them to light, in a way these invisible, omitted and overlooked stars represent the many women who, like Caroline struggled to be seen. 

Lynda was awarded arts council funding to turn her research in to a series of installations and invited Annie Needham and Phil Tomsett to work on a sound piece connected to Carolines work.  The sound piece was created in collaboration between them both, Annie worked with Caroline's observation notebooks, selecting lines of text to create a piece of prose which takes the listener on a journey through her career; her challenges and her achievements . This is the spoken word aspect of the piece.  Phil created an ambient piece of music working with the orbits  and data of the 8 comets she discovered to create the structure of the compositions.

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