The National Maritime Museum is showing three sets of photographs by Dan Holdsworth: At the Edge of Space (1999), The Gregorian (2005) and Hyperborea (2006). Images can be seen at the artist’s website. For me the most impressive were the last of these, a series of photographs of the Northern Lights taken in Reykjavik and the Andoya Rocket Range above the Arctic Circle in Norway
. The eerie light that dominates these images casts strange colours on the snow: often a sort of faintly luminous grey-green, here and there a quartz-like pink. The rocks and ice lie inert, looking almost unreal beneath these lurid pulsing skies, although in a few of the images an orange glow seems to emanate from the ground from some artificial light sources. Holdsworth’s long exposures leave traces of stars: arcs of varying intensities in delicate shades of turquoise or orange-green. Rather than isolate views, these photographs manage to convey a sense of planetary motion and connect the landscape with a wider view of space and time.