Art Inspired by Extrasolar Planets

Art Inspired by Extrasolar Planets - Pandora Mond Artist Residency


Pandora Mond was awarded the Leverhulme Artist in Residence in the academic year 2014-2015,working with the Astrophysics Department at the University of Exeter, world  leaders in the hunt for habitable extrasolar planets.

The images below are of paintings produced during her residency, which was supervised by Professor Isabelle Baraffe.

The paintings are being shown in Paris as part of the Alumni Exoplanet evening on June 26th 2015.

Each painting is a large circular canvas 5 feet in diameter. They were directly inspired by the research into extrasolar planets by the Astrophysics Department at the university and with the support and encouragement of professor Baraffe.

Pandora said of the inspiration for her work; 

"First detected 20 years ago so distant are these worlds no detailed images are possible which left me as an artist with no constraints on the imagination a perfect blank canvas to explore.

There is a fascination with discovering earth like planets - Are we alone?  How will this change our perception of our own fragile world? Is it possible the precise conditions needed to give rise to life on Earth could be repeated of have been repeated? What other life could exist under different conditions?

Why not?, given the potential for infinite numbers of universes and an infinite variety of planets.

These paintings are dreams of these distant worlds, places one day for sure we will know better.  They try to reflect the infinite possibilities and just as the scientist search for markers of life using our known criteria for life as their only possible template ,so I have looked back at our earth at images from space, alongside the inspirational data they are amassing. It turned out, much to my surprise that our processes had much more in common than I could have ever imagined when starting this project but then of course advances in both art and science so often rely on leap of the imagination."

Explore this online gallery of Pandora Mond's work at the University of Exeter. Click on each picture for a larger image and a description.