Paul Malone : Interstellar Water
Play Movies

Movie of the installation

Onboard camera
Surrounding and residing between the certain stars are vast oceans of water. When light from a star shines through this molecule it signals its prescience by turning the star into a microwave version of a laser; a water maser.

In this installation we take an imaginary journey to the Pleiades to investigate this phenomenon. The blue columns are in the position of the brightest stars in this cluster. Orbiting within the tenuous gases of the star cluster our model displays the common names of numerous other stars where these masers have been discovered. The effect is to turn our model into an orrery of chemistry, attracting to it the imagery of all that this implies in terms of molecular development and its influence on the origin of Life.

This installation is part of my ‘00 Scale’ series of artworks. These propose a literal view of scientific model making using the agency of the model railway environment. As such, they seek to emulate and predict how the full scale world operates. However, this reliance on the experiential world is not necessarily the whole story. Once in the model environment, changes and abstractions can be speculated that would be impossible otherwise.

As is common practice in these expeditions, three of the stars are left behind in their museum box as a control.

'Interstellar Water : an imaginary journey to the Pleiades'
Installation at the APT Open Studios, Deptford, London. 2017 : Recycled insulation board, plastic roofing sheet, operating 00 scale tanker wagons

Pleiades Names of Stars:


The Pleiades Star Cluster

Poster of the Installation

Table of Stellar Masers : Arcetri 2000

Images of the Installation (click to enlarge)

The whole installation (composite photo)