Clayton Morgan - 'Habetebel' - 16 September to 7 October 2023 at Photospace Gallery, Wellington Aotearoa NZ
Habetebel is a photographic project that explores the relationship between the historic Apollo 14 mission to the Moon and the new era of space exploration underway. The project draws attention to the growing influence of commercial spaceflight as a way to highlight the often conflicting views on the future of space exploration.
Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell had two very significant and different experiences during their mission to the Moon. While Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar landscape, Mitchell experienced a profound shift in his consciousness - now coined the Overview Effect.
Alan Shepard’s golf shots were his way to display the Moon's low gravity - however this seemingly innate human desire to ‘play’ also highlights the potential for space to be a site of commercial exploitation. The sport of golf, associated with leisure and luxury, was brought to a place where only four people had ever been before, marking an intersection where exploration, science, commercialisation, and colonisation began to blur.
While on the other hand, gazing out of the spacecraft's window at the distant Earth, Moon and Sun, Edgar Mitchell was overcome with a sense of interconnectedness, unity, and tranquility. He described this experience as a profound shift in awareness, feeling as if he had transcended the boundaries of his individual self and become intimately connected to the entirety of humanity and the planet.
Edgar Mitchell's experience serves as a reminder of the overpowering impact that space exploration can have on human consciousness. His journey to the Moon not only expanded our understanding of the cosmos but also deepened our connection to our home planet.
As we now find ourselves in a renewed era of space exploration, private enterprises fuelled by innovation and capital are becoming major players in this cosmic endeavour. The commercialisation of space has begun to redefine our relationship with the cosmos. These ventures promise not only scientific discovery but also economic potential, space tourism, and even the prospect of off-world colonies.
Habetebel sets out to consider how our continued exploration of space might continue to change humanity; and how might we change the places we continue to embark upon?
- Clayton Morgan, 2023
Clayton Morgan is a photographic artist whose work traverses the boundaries between documentary and conceptual photography.
Drawing inspiration from the world around him, Morgan explores complex issues, shedding light on the diverse range of societal challenges that shape our world. Through his lens, Morgan navigates the intricate interplay between fact and imagination, crafting imagery that provokes contemplation about past, present and future.
Clayton Morgan is based in Blenheim. He completed a Bachelor of Design with Honours (Photography) at Massey University, Wellington, in 2016 and a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Canterbury in 2019. 'Habetebel' is Clayton's first solo exhibition at Photospace Gallery. Previously, he was included in the group exhibition '4x5x6' curated by Thomas Slade in 2018.
'Habetebel' opens on Friday 15 September at 5pm and runs from 16 September to 7 October, 2023.
Gallery hours are 10am-3pm Mon-Fri, 11am-2pm Sat., closed Sundays and public holidays.
After hours viewing by appointment. Contact info.
Photography Matters II