Private Viewing, Visions of Space 2

Panorama of my bit of the exhibition

On Friday 9th June 2017, I went down for the opening night of “Visions of Space 2“, This is the first time I have been to see my own work on display in a a gallery!

This is a joint effort between the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the British Interplanetary Society, and the Wells and Mendip astronomers.

Wells and Mendip museum
Wells and Mendip museum

It’s a beautiful old building, right by the enormous cathedral.

The evening kicked off with a great talk by David A Hardy, covering the art of the moon over the centuries. Everything from common errors in how it is shown, to his alternative cover art for Pink Floyd’s “Dark  side of the Moon”.

One of the UK exhibition rooms
One of the UK exhibition rooms

After this there was food and drink, and we got to see the art! This was divided into two sections, with the American astronomical art downstairs, and the British contingent, (including a very large selection of models by Mat Irvine), upstairs.

Part of the American section of Visions of Space 2
Part of the American section of Visions of Space 2

Meeting people

I was somewhat nervous about meeting the people there, not least because this is the big league. If you look at the picture of the US section above, you will note the famous “Saturn from Titan” by Chesley Bonestell. I’m still not sure I deserve to be shown at the same event as what is undoubtedley the most famous piece of space art in the world!

Not shown in the photo – a couple of pieces in the US section particularly impressed me. The work by Astronaut Alan Bean was incredibly impressive when you see the real thing. Internet images do not do his work justice. The other was a depiction of Europa before the ice froze, by Don Davis, an amazing scene I would never have thought of.

The UK gang on Opening Night
The UK gang on Opening Night – David Hardy, Me, Bob Parkinson, and Jackie Burns.
`Our hosts at VoS 2, Chjris Starr, and Stephen Salmon.
Our hosts at VoS 2, Chris Starr, and Stephen Salmon.(Not in that order!), Taking the previous photo!

It was also great fun talking to the visitors, many were interested in how I approached my artwork. And the organisers said that last time they kept having to reassure people that these were not photographs! Given the heavy presence of BIS members, (who know their stuff), this was particularly good to hear!

My bit of the display!
My bit of the display!

I was paying attention to what was said – I am aware that one of my weaknesses is that I am not a very good judge of my own work. And I definitely need to do larger prints the next time I exhibit.


There was another highlight when we connected up to the IAAA members who were at SpaceFest in the USA! Lots of faces and cheeerful greetings from people I only know by their email and their work.

I was expecting to not stay very long, but it was well after 11:00 pm buy the time I made it back to the hotel.

The next morning

In the morning most of us reassembled, (though I had to leave for the long journey back to London). Jackie Burns provided a live demonstration of her technique, to enlighten the visitors.

Jackie Burns demonstrating her painting technique.
Jackie Burns demonstrating her painting technique.

And you can see the cathedral behind her.

The long journey was not much fun, but I am so glad I made the trip, it was absolutely wonderful!

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