Monday, 7 December 2015

Spaceship Perth

The junction of Hay and William Streets.

My favourite constellation is Orion. You might think that’s because it is such a distinctive stellar arrangement and that is indeed part of the reason. However, I like mainly it because when I moved from England to Australia, Orion was one constant in the new and strangely-patterned sky. Of course, he was an upside-down hunter when seen from the southern hemisphere, but he was the same – the belt, the tunic, the shield. When you’ve been unsettled by the substitution of the Southern Cross for Ursa Major, these things are important on a personal, if not cosmological, level.

The then-strange skies are now my usual skies (I have only made 2 trips back to England in the last 26 years) but I was thinking recently about how accustomed we are to our own particular celestial "landscapes" and, even if we don’t pay them too much heed, how even a slight change can be perceptible heighten the sense of strange.

The following series of pictures is based on changing familiar skies – to an extreme. If Perth were in different type of solar system, or flipped into another part of the galaxy, what would/could our skies look like? What starscapes would there be for the streetscapes that we know so well? (They'd look a bit like the covers of 1970s sci-fi novels it seems... :) )

I started out calling the series #perthcelestial and then, in a small homage to Buckminster Fuller, decide to change this to #spaceshipPerth because I can’t resist a pun, however weak. 

The old Melbourne Hotel

The QV1 building

An office in West Perth

The heart of the city

Wesley Church

Central Flats, West Perth

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