My Inspiration: Shaney Barton | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle University graduate Shaney Barton finds cosmic inspiration for brand new exhibition Anomalous Mass: Speculating On The Moon From An Earthbound Perspective, which opens at Allenheads Contemporary Arts Gallery near Hexham on Friday 19th April, and runs until Saturday 25th May.

“In the hope of getting to know a bit more about the moon and spending more time absorbing and contemplating moonlight, I set out to observe and document the full moon each month starting in December 2018. This was a bit more complicated than I’d expected, even with my partner in tow, who has better camera skills and more patience than I. Standing on cliff tops in the bracing wind and darkness with our handheld DSLR cameras was not going to cut it. But even in the freezing, poorly prepared conditions, the moonlight and the activity of trying to access and capture it hooked me. Finding the right location, equipment, times and position of the moon and camera settings became a fixation, often driving around, or even shooting in the garden into the early hours of the morning. Experimenting with different cameras and atmospheric conditions, we found the best recordings and imagery came with the Sony FS5 35mm digital film camera, a 400mm lens and a 2x converter to make an 800mm zoom.

The moon is a bit mysterious – why do we only see one side, why does it have an effect on humans, water, fertility patterns?

“The moon is a bit mysterious – why do we only see one side, why does it have an effect on humans, water, fertility patterns? With these basic questions in mind, the more I researched, the more flummoxed I became, as the moon is quite a speculative area of research – lots of the information coming from NASA, science and other official and non-official information sources is hugely contradictory. Why are moon rock samples supposedly older than Earth? Why did NASA researchers think that the moon sounds hollow? Not to mention the strange sights and sounds astronomers and astronauts have reported on the moon. This exhibition attempts to explore some of that, together with my contribution of trying to understand what’s out there by looking, recording, and by direct observation and experience.

“In this new video and sound installation, I hope that the audience will experience some of that sensation of interacting with the moonlight through the work and revel in the stranger-than-science-fiction story of our lunar satellite.”


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