Preview: The Human Spaceship – Upon the Moon @ Vane, Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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USA-born and Sunderland-based artist, Helen Schell builds on her 2011 project, Moon-shot: First Woman on the Moon (which predicts NASA’s plans for the first woman to walk on the lunar surface in 2025), with The Human Spaceship – Upon The Moon. This collection of work will be on display at Vane, Gateshead. It is inspired by 21st century space exploration and, with the NASA Artemis Mission taking humans to the moon in the next five years, in particular the mechanisms of human physiology and psychology in the hostile environment of the lunar south pole (where NASA intends to build a base camp).

Schell, who has won awards from the European Space Agency and the International Astronomical Union, as well as winning the Sir Arthur C Clarke Award three times, has created a series of large paintings in collaboration with space scientists that use geometric optical illusions and colour manipulation. 

There will also be a series of experimental ‘spaceship’ works on display. ‘The Human Spaceship’ art/science project seeks to create visual references, using geometry connected to visual perception in altered gravity conditions.

Schell has explored these themes for fifteen years and this body of work has been informed by visits to NASA, Johnson Space Centre, and connected Houston-based space organisations, as a guest artist at the Rice Space Institute in 2019. This year, Schell presented a talk entitled The Human Spaceship, at NASA Human Research Program Investigators Workshop 2022: Pathway to the Moon and Mars and she has artworks on the Aldrin Family Foundation (created by the son of Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon) Art Space site. 

The exhibition is open from 13th-29th October. Opening hours are Wednesday – Saturday 12-5pm.

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