Melanie King

melaniek.co.uk
research blog
London Alternative Photography Collective
Lumen Studios
super/collider


Melanie King is an external member of PARC.

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. She is co-Director of super/collider, Lumen Studios and the London Alternative Photography Collective. Melanie is currently studying towards a practice based PhD in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.

Melanie's research has recently focused on the concept of "Ancient Light". Ancient Light explores how light from incredibly distant stars can be captured directly onto photosensitive film. To create these images, photons emitted from stars travel over millions of years through the void of space. The photon then travels through Earths’ atmosphere and through the camera lens, at which point the photon is physically absorbed by the silver halide crystals suspended in the film. When processed, the silver halide crystals turn black as they come into contact with developer and fixer. For Melanie, these negatives are as precious as a meteorite or fossil, as their material structure is formed by the passage of incomprehensible periods of time.

The complimentary practices of astronomy and analogue photography processes rely on a precise interplay between total darkness and controlled exposure to light. Melanie's writing has recently focused on this experience in relation to metaphorical darkness, both in the search for knowledge and for spiritual enlightenment.


Melanie's inaugural solo exhibition was held at Leeds Art University in 2017. Melanie will held her first London-based solo show at the Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London in January 2018. She has exhibited in group shows at The Photographers' Gallery, Argentea Gallery, Guest Projects, Space Studios and the Sidney Cooper Gallery. Melanie has also exhibited in a wide range of international galleries and has taken part in a number of international residencies to develop aspects of her practice. Melanie recently took part in the SIM Residency, Reykjavik, to take photographs of the stars and aurora borealis.

Melanie has been involved in a number of large scale commissions. These commissions include a giant eclipse installation at Green Man Festival with Lumen Studios and large scale cyanotypes with the London Alternative Photography Collective. She has also worked with Louise Beer to curate the Museum of Sleep at Citizen M Hotel, in association with Bompas and Parr and super/collider. In December 2017, Melanie was commissioned by COS Stores to write a piece "On Bubbles" in association with Design Miami and Studio Swine.

Melanie regularly presents her work at conferences, universities and galleries. Notable venues include The Photographers' Gallery, TATE Exchange, International Space University: Space Studies Programme, University of the Arts Helsinki, London College of Communication, London LASER: Central Saint Martins, London South Bank University, Kosmica: Mexico, Kosmica: Paris, Helsinki Photomedia, Second Home, Soho House, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Uncertain States and Photoforum.

Melanie also organises participatory workshops in relation to her practice. She has developed workshops for the Whitechapel Gallery, The Photographers' Gallery, TATE Exchange, the Institute of Physics, East Street Arts, Kosmica: Mexico, SALT Festival: Norway, London College of Communication Short Courses, Photofusion, Phytology, Hackney Arts, Ditto Press and Brighton Photo Biennal.

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Melanie King

melaniek.co.uk
research blog
London Alternative Photography Collective
Lumen Studios
super/collider


Melanie King is an external member of PARC.

Melanie King is an artist and curator with a specific focus on astronomy. She is co-Director of super/collider, Lumen Studios and the London Alternative Photography Collective. Melanie is currently studying towards a practice based PhD in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.

Melanie's research has recently focused on the concept of "Ancient Light". Ancient Light explores how light from incredibly distant stars can be captured directly onto photosensitive film. To create these images, photons emitted from stars travel over millions of years through the void of space. The photon then travels through Earths’ atmosphere and through the camera lens, at which point the photon is physically absorbed by the silver halide crystals suspended in the film. When processed, the silver halide crystals turn black as they come into contact with developer and fixer. For Melanie, these negatives are as precious as a meteorite or fossil, as their material structure is formed by the passage of incomprehensible periods of time.

The complimentary practices of astronomy and analogue photography processes rely on a precise interplay between total darkness and controlled exposure to light. Melanie's writing has recently focused on this experience in relation to metaphorical darkness, both in the search for knowledge and for spiritual enlightenment.


Melanie's inaugural solo exhibition was held at Leeds Art University in 2017. Melanie will held her first London-based solo show at the Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London in January 2018. She has exhibited in group shows at The Photographers' Gallery, Argentea Gallery, Guest Projects, Space Studios and the Sidney Cooper Gallery. Melanie has also exhibited in a wide range of international galleries and has taken part in a number of international residencies to develop aspects of her practice. Melanie recently took part in the SIM Residency, Reykjavik, to take photographs of the stars and aurora borealis.

Melanie has been involved in a number of large scale commissions. These commissions include a giant eclipse installation at Green Man Festival with Lumen Studios and large scale cyanotypes with the London Alternative Photography Collective. She has also worked with Louise Beer to curate the Museum of Sleep at Citizen M Hotel, in association with Bompas and Parr and super/collider. In December 2017, Melanie was commissioned by COS Stores to write a piece "On Bubbles" in association with Design Miami and Studio Swine.

Melanie regularly presents her work at conferences, universities and galleries. Notable venues include The Photographers' Gallery, TATE Exchange, International Space University: Space Studies Programme, University of the Arts Helsinki, London College of Communication, London LASER: Central Saint Martins, London South Bank University, Kosmica: Mexico, Kosmica: Paris, Helsinki Photomedia, Second Home, Soho House, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Uncertain States and Photoforum.

Melanie also organises participatory workshops in relation to her practice. She has developed workshops for the Whitechapel Gallery, The Photographers' Gallery, TATE Exchange, the Institute of Physics, East Street Arts, Kosmica: Mexico, SALT Festival: Norway, London College of Communication Short Courses, Photofusion, Phytology, Hackney Arts, Ditto Press and Brighton Photo Biennal.