Personal work - Fallen angels
Fallen Angels are portraits of meteorites collected from around the globe. The subjects of my photographs are moulded by time, the laws of nature and chance. Two durationally extreme timelines can be discerned in this process: the formation of the objects in space over billions of years, and their sudden metamorphosis as they strike the atmosphere and finally fall to the Earth.
Fallen Angels -book project (work-in-progress)
Photography by Tuomas Uusheimo
Text by Aki Salmela
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It's a clear night of a new moon by the sea. I sit on my porch watching the pitch-black sky while the sea holds its endless dialogue with the dark rocks of the shore. I hope to see a meteor flash among the countless stars, a shooting star, a minor fireball that these nights exhibit from time to time. It feels humbling to contemplate the otherness beyond our world – to consider things outside our atmosphere, the endless vastness of the space that is far from empty.
I see an image of a stone from somewhere out there. And although it is only a stone, and not too different from any other stone in our world, it gets to represent something greater than itself. It grows to a symbol for the fact that we really are a part of a greater whole; that our small bubble is not entirely unbreakable.
It was obvious to the enlightened mind of the 18th century that meteorites were just plain superstitious nonsense of the ignorant peasants. Something akin to frogs raining down the sky, and certainly nothing worth a serious inquiry.
Often it is hard to decide weather a rock is beautiful or ugly – for as a natural object it is a bit pointless to call it either – but what is clear in this particular stone, is that within its seeming toughness lies great delicacy. Its blackened crumbling crust shows it has come through great heat and fire, through an atmosphere of hardships, and it has prevailed – so unlike many others of its kin. It looks a bit run down, but one should not be too harsh a judge. It has lost almost everything, and still it declines to crumble away.
It may not look like much, but in the ancient times this crater was a place of worship. Of a god? Of gods? We simply do not know, but some higher presence was acknowledged to be present in this site. Maybe a lore had carried its heavenly origin to the worshippers of the old who came to lay presents in the murky water that was well known to be without a bottom.
Like a fine modernist painting, this slice shows us something we didn't quite expect to see. Geometrical shapes, zoomorphic forms, determined lines that imply a hidden meaning; a texture that reminds a meticulous sketch with a dubious intent.
A piece that implies that sometimes great art is but a happy accident, just nature doing natures work.
At some point in the future a major impact is certain to happen, though it might still be a 100 000 years away.
This is the way the world ends, not with a whimper but a bang.
Pressure is a great sculptor. You can see the fingerprints of the earths atmosphere all around this iron, the way it must treat things that enter it with certain speed and mass. It just can't keep its hands off these curious things.
According to Aristotle meteorites were the product of extreme weather. Perhaps strong winds might have hurled these stones across the skies.
Darkness implies these rocks have never really left the space we associate them with. As night falls on our side of the sphere, we are one with their eternity.