A Place That Exists Only In Moonlight at Turner Contemporary

Katie Paterson, Totality, 2016. Photo © Flora Bartlett. Courtesy of the Arts Council Collection. Installation view Somerset House

An artist who has worked with NASA and the European Space Agency will be exhibiting work at Turner Contemporary next month.

Katie Paterson will have work alongside JMW Turner for A Place That Exists Only In Moonlight, which opens on January 26 and runs until May 6.

Over the last 10 years, Katie has developed an extraordinary and unique practice. She has worked with NASA to recreate the smell of Saturn’s moon, Titan and the European Space Agency to send a meteorite back into space.

The Scottish-born artist first captured imaginations in one of her earliest works, Vatnajökull when people anywhere in the world could call a mobile phone number to be connected to a rapidly eroding glacier in Iceland and listen to it melting.

Katie Paterson, Vatnajökull (the sound of), 2007-8.  Photo © Katie Paterson, 2007

Katie is currently working on her most ambitious project to date. Future Library, 2014 – 2114. She has planted 1000 trees in a forest near Oslo which will supply the paper for an anthology of books, almost from now. A new text will be written each year by a different author, kept in trust and not read by anyone until 2114, when the library is complete.

This exhibition will include the majority of Paterson’s existing works, which explore our relationship as humans with the vastness and wonder of the universe; our desire to see the unseeable, to know the unknowable.

The Whalers Sketchbook [Finberg CCCLIII], Sunset amid Dark Clouds over the Sea
Like Paterson, JMW Turner was fascinated by the wonder of nature, capturing the changing and atmospheric qualities of light, air and weather in his paintings, while also being deeply curious about science and the physical world. Paterson has selected a group of some 20 Turner watercolours and paintings to be interspersed with her works.

Orange Sunset by JMW Turner copyright Tate London

In 2019, Paterson will launch First There is a Mountain, a set of ‘buckets and spades’ in the form of world mountains, from which the public will build mountains of sand across the UK coastline. Turner Contemporary will be one of 25 venues to host the event.

Paterson’s new book, A place that exists only in moonlight, will be published to coincide with the exhibition. The book will comprise over one hundred short texts.