Katie Paterson has become known for her multidisciplinary and conceptually-driven work with an emphasis on nature, ecology, geology and cosmology. Many of her poetic installations have been the result of intensive research and collaboration with specialists as diverse as astronomers, geneticists, nanotechnologists, jewelers and firework manufacturers.
Among recent works are: Totality (2016), a mirrorball reflecting every solar eclipse seen from earth; Hollow (2016) is a commission for University of Bristol, made in collaboration with architects Zeller & Moye, permanently installed in the historic Royal Fort Gardens. Hollow is a miniature forest of all the world’s forests, including over 10,000 unique tree species spanning millions of years telling the history of the planet through the immensity of tree specimens in microcosm. Fossil Necklace (2013), a necklace comprised of 170 carved, rounded fossils, spanning geological time; Second Moon (2013), a work that tracks the cyclical journey of a fragment of the moon as it circles the Earth, via airfreight courier, on a man-made year-long commercial orbit; All the Dead Stars (2009), a large map documenting the locations of 27,000 dead stars known to humanity; Light bulb to Simulate Moonlight (2009), an incandescent bulb designed to transmit wavelength properties identical to those of moonlight; and History of Darkness (ongoing), a slide archive of darkness captured at different times and places throughout the universe and spanning billions of years. As Erica Burton, curator at Modern Art Oxford, wrote at the time of a solo exhibition in 2008, “Katie Paterson’s work engages with the landscape, as a physical entity and as an idea. Drawing on our experience of the natural world, she creates an expanded sense of reality beyond the purely visible.”