Space is, as any Star Trek fan will know, the final frontier. Not to say that we’ve explored almost all the universe, far from it! We are nowhere near having explored anything of any significance, leaving a literally unbelievably vast universe free for our imaginations to roam unhindered by reality. That is where space art comes in.
Whether depicting the true nature of far-flung objects alongside space centres like NASA, or imagining whole new worlds, space art allows the artist free-reign to explore the unexplorable.
To mark Zippi’s theme of the month of ‘Space Exploration’, we asked contributing artist Jude Brazier to share his thoughts on a theme that transcends his own art and that of many others:
‘Space is the ultimate ‘unknowable’. It’s this quality that those who pursue an artistic career in space art enjoy discovering.
Humans have always had a romanticised view of the unknown; whether the birth of gods and goddesses; the serpents of the seas and other worlds – living or dead. We have wondered what was out there and in doing so have created living worlds through our art to visualise our locked imagination locked inside us.
‘Ever since Yuri Gagarin left our thin blue atmosphere we have discovered so much about the last frontier we can physically touch. It can be a cold hard truth about how special, insignificant and frail we are at the same time. The moment we step out into the wilderness of space we find how bleak and desolate the vast distance can be, the lurking threat of death around every corner; radiation discharged into space from stars, micro-meteorites and only a thin shell of metal and glass to keep us alive.
Despite this desolation, space holds a macabre beauty: molten rain of glass on HD 189733b, watching matter in an accretion disc being swallowed by a black hole, lakes of liquid metal on Titan, and the dark hidden ocean under the ice of Ganymede.
‘What would once be science fiction is now reality. Space, for all its emptiness keeps giving the most inspiration for us to build, paint, write and draw. When we think all has been discovered, a new spark will appear from the dark and we will art.’
Space Art captures the imagination and drives the creative talents of many artists. We got in touch with Mark Garlick, director of Mark Garlick Words and Pictures Ltd, who went so far as getting a PhD in Astrophysics before turning his talents to building a superb portfolio, he says:
‘I have been interested in space, and its art, all of my life. I loved art as a kid, and the beautiful space illustrations I saw in astronomy books – describing the universe around us through the romantic interpretations of an artist rather than the cold gaze of a robotic probe – drew me into the subject. Now I myself make the kind of images that grabbed my attention as a child, and I hope that my work will inspire others the way that I was. I like space art because it enables me to dream; it offers a glimpse of experiences beyond the mundane – experiences that, mostly, nobody will ever encounter for real. And I love space art simply because of its beauty.’
Enjoy the art below from our fellow Zippi artists who share Jude and Mark’s passion.