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Black Drop/ Production Still (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, June 2012) was produced for Modern Art Oxford to accompany Simon Starling’s 2013 exhibition Black Drop, which responded to the rare planetary phenomenon of the transit of Venus and its relationship to the beginnings of moving image technology.

The most recent transit of Venus took place in June 2012, and will likely be the last in our lifetimes, with the next taking place in 2117. With the medium of film rapidly disappearing, Starling decided to visit Hawaii and Tahiti to film the transit and the sites of previous observations – Point Venus, Tahiti, in 1769 and Honolulu in 1874 – documenting the last transit to be recorded using 35mm technology. The resulting film is a multilayered documentary, narrated by Peter Capaldi, and illustrated with still and moving images of geographical locations and historical information, set against the backdrop of a 35mm film-editing suite.

This edition is a captivating photograph, a production still taken in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park whilst Black Drop was being created and the Venus Transit charted. Starling considers his work to be a physical manifestation of the artistic thought process and here we can see a moment of creation caught for prosperity.

Black Drop was commissioned by Modern Art Oxford, in association with the University of Oxford, and was first shown at the Radcliffe Observatory, which was built with funds from John Radcliffe’s legacy at the suggestion of the astronomer Dr. Thomas Hornsby, following his observation of the 1769 transit of Venus.

A limited edition of 30 prints, exclusive to Modern Art Oxford. Numbered, signed and dated with the year of production recto, by the artist. All our editions come with a certificate of authenticity.

Modern Art Oxford editions are generously donated by the artists. All proceeds from the sale of these works directly support our exhibition and education programmes.

Price is inclusive of VAT. We will contact you to discuss delivery options and postage costs.

Additional Information


£500 inc VAT


Silver gelatine print


265 x 213mm (unframed)

Simon Starling Print
Black Drop/Production Still (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, June 2012) (2012/2013)