OUTER Space is the Sayle Gallery’s contribution to World Space Week – an international celebration of science and technology launched by the UN in 1999 and held in October every year since.
The free exhibition, which features a range of Sayle Gallery Artists, plus two invited artists who were both educated here, begins tomorrow (Friday) and continues until Sunday, October 14.
The dates commemorate the launch of the first satellite – Sputnik 1 – in October 1957, and the signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in October 1967.
Images sent back from satellites and rockets as well as long-held mystical beliefs have all contributed to this exciting and varied exhibition at the Sayle Gallery, in the Villa Marina Arcade, Douglas, which was initiated by artist David Maddrell.
He said: ‘The eight artists involved have added to the wonderful sprinkling of space dust the Isle of Man has come to enjoy of late.
‘These include visits by Professor Brian Cox and NASA astronauts as well as more prosaic financial incentives for companies involved in space and satellite exploration from the Manx Government.
‘Imaginations have been fired up, and this exhibition draws on the talents of Sayle Gallery artists to help celebrate all things “space”.’
David’s own work in the exhibition includes etchings and screen prints, along with a large circular painting of a character titled Heavenly Ambassador complete with a heavenly host in gold around the rim. Bryony Harrison’s work stems from nebulae (clouds) in space, influenced by photos taken from the Hubble Space Telescope, and although Rosi Robinson looked at similar photos, she used them as a jumping off point and went on to think about quantum physics, black holes, seething energy and violent collisions, all of which influenced her work. Meanwhile, Eileen Schaer has considered the theme completely differently and one of three works of visionary poetic painting from her imagination depicts a hare balanced on the moon. Guest artist Richard Jeffers has contributed digital colour sketches which began life as biro drawings which he then scanned. Richard grew up in the island but now lives in Manchester and works for a company which designs and constructs puppets for TV, film and advertising. He has worked on the puppets for a number of Tim Burton animations – including the soon-to-be released Frankenweenie and this has clearly influenced his interpretation of the exhibition’s outer space theme.
The exhibition is sponsored by SES Satellite Leasing Ltd, which will be bringing some rockets to the gallery. Its managing director, Mark Guthrie, said: ‘We provide communications links around the world, literally, and it is fascinating to see how these talented artists have let their imaginations loose to interprete both images that satellites have brought back to earth and more mystical and mythical themes.’
Other artists include Charlotte Henry, Christine Williams and Xander Hultgren Hook.