Lynda Laird is a photographic artist. Her research-based practice merges archive, photography, video and sound; employing techniques, methods and materials that are sympathetic and relevant to the subject. She focuses on long-term bodies of work, primarily looking at landscape(s) and the traces of memory in these spaces. She is interested in exploring ways of showing what is invisible to the naked eye, often employing camera less techniques and working with the materiality of specific landscapes in an attempt to bring an element or trace of its history in to the work. Lynda has been working as the artist in residence at the Royal Astronomical Society since 2019 where the research for this project began.
Phil Tomsett is a musician, sound artist and producer creating atmospheric, impressionistic, music with influences ranging from ambient, electronic, deep listening and sound art. He has recorded albums for specialist music labels and created work for sound art projects, live performances and radio broadcasts. Eight Comets is an eight part immersive listening piece written especially for the installation. The work uses data from each comet's discovery together with writing from Caroline Herschel’s journal to influence the composition of each of the eight parts. It is a celebration of Caroline Herschel’s life, work and the comets she discovered.
Annie Needham is a documentary Sound Recordist with an interest in sound design. Leafing through Caroline Herschel’s observation notebooks at the RAS archive inspired her contribution to this project. While the style of Caroline's writing in these documents is empirical and scientific, when it's taken out of context it begins to sound poetic. Using the ‘cut-up technique’ Caroline’s words, which feature in the spoken word aspect of 8 Comets, have been arranged to give us a glimpse into her journey as a woman working in astronomy during the time she made her important discoveries.