Melanie King: Lunar Portraits

17 January - 20 March 2020

Melanie King is a visual artist and practice-based researcher at the Royal College of Art. She is interested in the relationship between starlight, photography and materiality. Her PhD research project ‘Ancient Light: Rematerializing the Astronomical Image’ considers how starlight travels thousands, if not millions of years, before reaching photosensitive film or a digital sensor.

Lunar Portraits, consists of a series of photographs using only light from the Full Moon to expose the image. Participants were asked to gaze up at the Full Moon whilst moonlight fell upon their face. This series highlights humanity's connection to our celestial neighbour, considering how our ancestors have gazed up at the Full Moon for many thousands of years. The Moon connects humans across timescales and immense distances, as the same Moon can be viewed from vantage points across the entire planet. This series also acknowledges 2019's 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the Moon.

This is exhibition is on display in The Rotunda and The Boardroom by appointment only. Please email University Curator, Catriona McAra, at to make an appointment.

Opening night: Thursday 16 January 5-7pm
Free entry. Refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome. Booking not required.

Image: Melanie King, Hannah, 2019. Silver gelatin print.Image: Melanie King, Hannah Fletcher, 2019. Silver gelatin print.

  • 17 January - 20 March 2020
  • The Rotunda/The Boardroom, Leeds Arts University, Blenheim Walk, LS2 9AQ