87 Sylvia


Brass plate, photo gravure, postcard, archival pigment print.

—Ever your devoted sister, E. Isis.

In the middle of the 19th century, the British astronomer Norman R. Pogson was relocated to India, one of Britain’s colonies. Once there he initiated a close collaboration with his eldest daughter E. Isis Pogson. With a recommendation from her father, she was also the first woman to apply for membership in The Royal Astronomy Association. She was rejected, and their joint work was not recognized until many years later. In four parts, with material from the Madras observatory, their work is revised, focusing on the discovery of an asteroid in 1977, given the name 87 Sylvia

Using a reproduction of the first text regarding the discovery, engraved in brass and with a personal addendum by E. Isis, a graphic 3D representation on paper, a postcard from 1792 depicting the newly built observatory, and a newspaper clipping, questions are asked regarding center versus periphery and the terms dictating professional roles for women. 

Installation view, Kalmar Konstmuseum, 2013. Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren.
87 Sylvia (Discovery), engraved brass plate with inscription from letter..
87 Sylvia, photo gravure after 3D render, ESO Images, .
87 Sylvia (Observatory in Madras 1792), postcard.
87 Sylvia (A Lady Meteorologist), newspaper clipping, 1902.

87 Sylvia is an independent part of the work series and solo exhibition The Sylvia Fractions at Kalmar Art Museum in 2013. Other works in the series include Y’all Better Quiet Down!/Hallå, kan ni lugna ner er! and The Jane/Joan DialoguesMade possible through the archive at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore IN, with funding from IASPIS: the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Arts.Exhibitions: Kalmar Art Museum, Kalmar SE. 

 ©MMXIV Conny Karlsson Lundgren