Portsmouth Grammar School
A piece conceived as a celebration of the Natural Philosophers of the Enlightenment to mark the opening of the schools' new science block.
Celestial Microscope is inspired by research into the history of Portsmouth Grammar School and its 18th century founder, Portsmouth garrison physician Dr William Smith, which led to an exploration of early medical instruments, microscopes, optical implements and in turn to the Enlightenment period of empirical research and voyages of discovery.
The idea of the micro telescope (is it a microscope, is it a telescope; which end do we look through?) summed up our search for knowledge of the world around us. It encapsulated the idea of looking through one end at the infinitely small and through the other end at the infinitely large, and brought art, science, navigation and Portsmouth’s history of maritime exploration into a logical conjunction. It is made from green oak, douglas fir, stainless steel and gold leaf, and represents a carbon atom at one end which can be turned to spin the solar system at the other.