FMP Weeks 3-4: Naming and Storytelling

It is not enough to have an image which captures more than a nanosecond of your attention. It needs to have the potential for interrogation and accompanying explanation which deepens and broadens the initial impact. This is what I am learning.

I began to think more seriously about this when preparing my Final Major Project Proposal. Previously I have created collective names for mini-projects up to this point (i.e. re-present, dis-integration, re-integration, re-view, re-present etc.) and explained and justified my choices in relation to Beauty and the Beach… in past posts. What is needed now is a more substantial way of not only providing the front door but an opening into the room or rooms within.

A breakthrough came as I was about to submit the proposal (but too late for inclusion). I happened to be visiting the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. With a longstanding interest in astrophysics and reflecting on feedback on my scanned and recycling mages to date, the naming and explanatory discourse emerged.

The images I am making include a plan A as in the project proposal and a plan B which is not necessarily appropriate and acceptable as a replacement for A should that not work out. But it is one I am pursuing in parallel and dare I say, having fun with. So already two rooms to view behind my conceptual door. But how to describe each in a way that links them?

The Guardian 2018, What happens in black holes? Hawking’s final paper released Stephen Hawking 2016, Black Holes: The Reith Lectures



I have been reading Stephen Hawking ‘Black Holes’ and Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen’s ‘Human Universe: Forces of Nature’. Two days before my visit to Greenwich The Guardian headlined with an exclusive account by Ian Sample (2018) of “What happens in black holes? Hawking’s final paper released”. It seems all coincidental signs were pointing me in a direction I could not resist.


Sarah Newton 2018, Dark Matter 1
Sarah Newton 2018, example from the series Event Horizons









So I have provisionally named plan A images as a numbered run under the title ‘Black Matter’ and plan B ‘Event Horizons’. Black Matter images are scanned beach debris and Event Horizons images relate to recycling and holes. At the moment they reside in separate but linked rooms (as one depicts where debris should have been placed) and I am working on an overall title. Something that resonates with me are thoughts about Gaia and everything that is on and around earth is currently set to stay that way including all the junk we now have in space. Some of my images are starting to look as if the objects are floating surrounded by stars (aka sand).

Others look like alien landscapes and beings and here’s another coincidental timing, Dr Who has just started a new series starring a female lead with toxic waste dumping screened in episode 4 (of 10) on 28-10-2018 and yet to come The Remnants a high density polyfibre monster alluding to our waste management problem!

BBC One 2018, Dr Who Series 11


BBC ONE. 2018. Dr Who Series 11. [TV Broadcast]. Available at: [accessed 29/10/18].

COX, Brian and Cohen, Andrew. 2014. Human Universe: Forces of Nature. London: William Collins.

HAWKING, Stephen. 2016. Black Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures. Introduction and notes by BBC News Science Editor David Shukman. London: Bantam Books.

ROYAL MUSEUMS GREENWICH. Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition 2018. Available at: [accessed 29/10/18].

ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH. Available at: [accessed 29/10/18].

SAMPLE, Ian. 2018. ‘What happens in black holes? Hawking’s final paper released’. The Guardian, 11 October.

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