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One Hundred Year Star Diary

Alec Finlay, 2008

One Hundred Year Star Diary is an artist book in the form of an astronomical diary cataloguing all major astronomical events from 2008-2107.

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One Hundred Year Star Diary is an astronomical diary created by artist poet Alec Finlay to coincide with the opening of Kielder Observatory. The Diary catalogues all the major astronomical events from 2008-2107 with space for owners to write their own notes and observations on the events that they have witnessed. The artist developed a series of visual representations for each type of event, which are displayed on special charts, year by year and page by page.

One Hundred Year Star Diary is available from the Kielder Castle Visitor Centre or by contacting the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society via their website. All proceeds go to support the Kielder Observatory public event programme. Find out more at

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Artist Peot Alec Finlay was commissioned to work 'in residency' with  Artist Poet Alec Finlay was commissioned to work 'in residency' with the astronomers who were helping to develop the Kielder Observatoryproject. Like all Kielder Art & Architecture residencies, this was an open ended commission whose outcomes were to be determined by the relationships, understanding and ideas that developed between the artist and the astronomers as the residency progressed. The only fixed point was that the work would complete in time for the Observatory's completion.

By launch day a number of works had been created, the key one being the One Hundred Year Star Diary, an artist's book that uses graphical symbols developed in collaboration with Denis Moskowitz and Professor Ray Sharples to present all major astronomical events from 2008-2107 and with space for owners to write their own notes  on the events that they have witnessed during a lifeltime of observing.

In addition to the Diary, a number of billboard artworks were created that used material derived from the book to help publicise the launch of the Observatory. A print series derived from the same material were also made that is now exhibited in the Observatory's warm room.

A final work related to the Observatory itself was a six word poem written on the blades of the Observatory's wind turbine. Unfortunately the rigours of Kielder's often severe weather conditions have eroded the words from the blades and the poem now only exists as a memory and in photographic documentation.





Further information about Alec Finlay's work can be found at