For the opening of my art show at grace-gallery in September 2009, I wanted to show people a little bit about the telescopes that bring us images of space objects. With the help of Craig Breckenridge, I put together a selection of images, animations and quotes, and made a video presentation. Craig designs and builds telescopes, and was one of the designers of the Thirty Meter Telescope. When it is completed, it will be the largest telescope on the planet, situated on Mauna Kea. Craig is also very knowledgeable about astronomy, and was very supportive and helpful with my show.
The quotes in the video are ones that I find inspiring and thought-provoking. The images are of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the design of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Also included are images of Pleiades and the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Star Trails image was taken by Craig Breckenridge. It is centered on Polaris, the North Star. The exposure on it is about four hours, and the spiral effect is due to the movement of the earth. In the original image, two satellite trails and one meteor are visible.
The animations of TMT give a high level view of how it works, and give good perspective on how large it is. There are also animations of Antennae, showing how the two galaxies collide, Monocerotis, and Orion. The animation of Orion shows what it would be like if we could fly through it. I have painted all three of these.
At my art show, we had the video looping as a backdrop, while a selection of songs played throughout the evening. Later, with permission, we added the song “Love Breath” from the Chakra Trancen-dance cd. I find the music on that cd so inspiring and uplifting. I would listen to it again and again while I painted galaxies and nebulae for my Stellar Drift and Spaced Out series.
You can view the video here on YouTube.