Youthful Gazes at the Unpolluted Night Sky

Strongly connected with discovering someone’s place in the universe as a child, The Blue of the Far Distance is a personal photographic journey about wonder and curiosity.

I consist of 97% of a stardust
and yet I find it hard to believe
I am seven years old,
Sitting on a wooden church bench
Looking at the man in the long black cassock,
In the name of a father and the son and the holy spirit, I say kneeling on one knee
To not get both of them dirty.

Wouldn't it be great to be a saint I wonder,
Sitting on the god's side watching his godly deeds.

A man sitting behind reeks of alcohol
In the name of a father and the son and the holy spirit,
he says
"Don't sit with your legs spread" whispers my mother
As if I may somehow offend the god and the son and the holy spirit.

With my legs clashed tightly together
I feel I may be offending them anyway 97% of stardust
awkwardly formed into being

Stargazing is one of my most powerful childhood memories. As a child I spent every summer break on my grandmother's farm in Eastern Poland, escaping the heavy industry coal mining landscape of my hometown, Silesia. My grandmother's farm was a place so remote that hardly any light pollution stained its skies, a place where nature was my playground, where farm animals were my companions.

It taught me a great deal about my place in the universe, nature and wilderness, appreciation for the night, darkness, and what it represents: the unknown, the wild, the poetic, the untamed – the values I want to protect and preserve as an artist. I am fascinated by the underlying emotional landscapes, points of connection, and power structures. I believe that how we connect and relate to one another and the environments we inhabit is a fundament of healthy relations, communities, and societies.

Photography is a medium that allows me to ground my artistic practice. Through incorporating visual strategies such as staging, cyanotype, and collage I explore the tensions between reality and fiction, between mundane and magic. “The blue of the far distance” is a story about the clash between the feeling of awe, and every day, between human scale and celestial bodies.

Words and Pictures by Emilia Martin 

Emilia Martin is a Polish-born visual artist and storyteller who currently lives in The Hague, NL where she studies MA in Photography and Society at the Royal Academy of the Art. Through the use of poetic narratives, Emilia explores the friction between ordinary and profound. She is currently working on a story about the human connection with stars. Follow her on Instagram and PhMuseum


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.