MJ Sharp

Our Disappearing Darkness and Recreating True Night


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A vanishingly small percentage of our evolutionary time as human beings has been spent in artificial light. For a large percentage of the world’s population, the experience of night is quickly becoming a boutique and privileged one. When we are robbed of night—from seeing the night sky that fueled the world’s mythologies to experiencing our own creaturely human adaptation to the dark— what are we missing? Photographer MJ Sharp was on a 2021/2022 Fulbright Scholar Award to collaborate with Professor Kevin Gaston at the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn to try to answer that question and continues to explore ways to evoke the experience of prehistoric night.


Cornwall is remarkable both for its concentration of prehistoric sites and for its dark skies. Archeological evidence from some prehistoric megaliths suggests that people were visiting these sites in liminal light or at night. Can an artistic simulation of the experience of being at these sites at night help us better understand what we’re missing when we live our lives awash in light pollution?

Carn Gluze Barrow, Cornwall, UK 2022 MJ Sharp
MJ Sharp
 

 

 

Mini Movie

Behind the scenes at Lanyon Quoit

 

Mini Movie

Behind the scenes at Trethevy Quoit

Mini Movie

Behind the scenes at the Merry Maidens

Mini Movie

Behind the scenes at Chun Quoit

 

 

Mini Movie

Don't bring a camera into the field

without filing the proper paperwork

with the sheep...

Lecture

 

October 2022 online lecture sponsored by and benefitting The Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South

 

Lecture Links

Lecture

 

February 2022 State of the Art Lecture

Sponsored by the Environment and Sustainability Institute (scroll down to Feb22) at the University of Exeter, Cornwall, UK

 

Lecture Links

Dark Sky Resources

December 2021 Arts & Culture Blog Post

 

🤔 Darkness or night story to share for the project? A momentary feeling or a podcast-length story. No experience too small!

 

Please email tip@mjsharp.com so we can set up a time to chat.


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