Perspectus Australis (with feet opposite) and Seas of Delirium (South side up), both consider the ways early telescopes and astronomical charts helped construct ideas of Terra Australis Incognita (the ‘Unknown Southern Land’), in the European imagination. Celestial maps described an upright position for the Northern eye, and etchings of the Greenwich Observatory placed the viewer at what would later become the prime meridian — looking outward to a picturesque unknown. Underpinning these visions was the idea of the Antipodes (Latin for ‘with feet opposite ours’) which conceived the Southern Hemisphere as something opposing, reversed, and even inverted.
Seas of Delirium (South side up) (2023) references a map of the moon by 17th century astronomer Giovanni Riccioli (Almgestum Novum, published 1651). This map assigned poetic names for what were thought to be bodies of water on the Moon; the names remain in use today, including the Sea of Tranquillity, Seas of Crisis, DeliriuSm Peninsula, and the Marsh of Sleep. The map also notably describes an upright position only for the Northern eye. In Seas of Delirium (South side up) I incorporate an image of the rising moon made from my observations on the Western Coast of Australia. Over this intimately abraded surface I have enlarged and re-transcribed Riccioli’s map, rotating and flipping his ‘data’ to articulate a Southern position. I undertook a similar inversion in Perspectus Australia (with feet opposite), upending segments of a print from Francis Place’s series Vivarium Grenovicanum (1676). I specifically quote Prospectus Australis which presents a view from Greenwich Observatory looking South, locating the viewer close to what would later become the prime meridian looking outward toward a picturesque unknown.