‘Everything Beautiful is Far Away’ is a photographic project conceived by photographer Julian Abrams to document some of the most technologically influential astronomical telescopes of the modern observational era and the buildings that house them. Over a period of several years Abrams travelled with distinguished astronomer Professor Richard Ellis – who has written the accompanying text from the perspective of first hand knowledge of working with the telescopes featured – to locations across the globe.
ABOUT JULIAN ABRAMS
Specialising in interiors and architecture, Julian Abrams has worked as a professional photographer for over 20 years, developing a unique ability to balance creativity and commerce. This has led to long-term collaborations with many of the world’s most successful designers, artists and innovative brands; including Nike, Airbnb, Punchdrunk Theatre, The Saatchi Gallery, Bulgari, Swatch and Alexander McQueen along with a host of universally recognised interior designers, architects and property developers.
He has also worked extensively for Artangel, alongside a stable of internationally renowned artists, and has himself exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. Some of the work from this book featured at the Venice Architectural Biennale in the summer of 2021.
A passion for light – which evolved from a love of perceptual art and from shooting the hidden light of nocturnal landscapes (as well as a great passion for live music and the associated lighting) – is combined with the graphic sensibility that informs much of his work.
"These observatories, and their representation of the ultimate study of light, became such a fascinating subject for me to investigate. I was instantly taken by the diversity of the structures which house the telescopes in the most extreme of locations. These are structures which do not conform with orthodox aesthetic considerations. Structures which have no obligation to integrate with pre-existing built environments. Structures which would not look out of place on the harsh and dramatic fictional landscape of Tatooine.
Standing as paeans to human achievement and conveying the science fiction-styled other-worldliness that I adored as a child, these detached and futuristic masterpieces exist solely to serve their scientific function. The fact that they must do this in the severest of conditions, exposed to the fury of the natural elements, is all the more awe-inspiring."