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Label: space

Friday 02nd October 2015Artist Spotlight: Scott Kelly

Typically in our Artist Spotlight series, we do exactly what it says on the tin: examine the careers, works, and lives of prominent or emerging artists from around the world. In today's edition of the Artist Spotlight, however, we're going to look at an artist who is literally out of this world (for now, at least): Scott Kelly, an astronaut currently residing on the International Space Station. While some may argue that he may not be an artist in the traditional sense, it's hard to look at his stunning photographs of the Earth's surface without seeing echoes of modern abstract art.

Having resided on the International Space Station for the last several months, Kelly has been populating his Twitter feed with photographs of the Earth since he first docked and went aboard. The photographs are truly incredible, all the more beautiful for the fact that the medium he's photographing is the topography of the entire planet.

The latest series of abstracts he's been posting are from his passage over the continent of Australia, which is already somewhat famous for its impressive topography. Some of the oldest rocks on the surface of the planet can be found here, and perhaps that's partly to credit for the impressive quality of the abstracts Kelly captures.

He photographs from the observation cupola of the International Space Station (ISS), a multi-windowed bubble on the Earth side of the station. Ostensibly, Kelly's mission is to spend an entire year in space, to help NASA and the other space agencies involved in the product understand the effects of long-term space habitation on the human body. If his photographs are anything to go by, it's clear that extended time in space doesn't prevent or limit human creativity in the slightest, which will no doubt be excellent news for the cultural development of any future interplanetary colonies.

To keep up with Kelly's photographs during his entire year aboard the ISS, be sure to follow his Twitter account, which can be found here: https://twitter.com/StationCDRKelly. Kelly has been tagging all his photos with the hashtag #EarthArt, which was first used during a Google Earth project that scanned the globe for interesting and appealing topographical features. Stay tuned for more photographs as he passes over other continents during the rest of his #yearinspace mission, and get a truly unique view of the world we all know and love.
 

Posted on October 02nd 2015 on 05:00pm
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Wednesday 11th February 2015Selfies - From Space!

While it's with heavy fingers that we type the world 'selfie' at all, it's hard to get away from it in the world of photography at the moment. In this one case, however, it's with pleasure rather than trepidation that we type the word, as it also happens to involve astronauts and outer space. If you happen to have a few spare quid lying around, you might just be able to pick yourself up a piece of space photography history in the next few weeks, as a number of photographs from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration archives are going up on the auction block.

Depending on whom you ask, the star of the lot might be the first space selfie, taken by the late Col. Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin in 1966 with the curve of the Earth just visible in the background, or it might be the 1972 photograph taken by Eugene Cernan of Harrison Schmitt and the American flag planted on the lunar surface, with the Earth in the background. The Cernan photograph has been called "one of the great photos to come out of the space program," but it's hard to deny the buzz behind the Aldrin picture (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves).

The auction takes place on February 26th in London, courtesy of Bloomsbury Auctions, and the collection is visible in Mallet Antiques as an exhibit entitled 'From the Earth to the Moon'. As Sarah Wheeler, who is Head of Photographs at the auction house, put it, "These photographs are more than merely documentary, many are simply sublime. They represent a golden age in the history of photography as well, when a few men went to the unknown to bring back awe-inspiring pictures. The view of the first Earthrise over the lunar horizon changed Man's relationship with the cosmos forever."

The prices aren't particularly astronomical, perhaps surprisingly, considering that Wheeler is correct in noting their impressive historical value. The estimated sale prices for the photos range from £300 to £10,000, which is still a pretty penny, but can you really put a price on the first photos of our own planet? Nothing would beat being able to casually mention, as your friend whips out their selfie stick, that you happen to have the first selfie from space. 

Posted on February 11th 2015 on 10:56pm
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