Sunday, December 03, 2017


Pale Blue Dot Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014 Private Collection

I offer you a selection of paintings that depict a.......................................... 
pale blue dot - aka Earth

I am taking the descriptor 'pale blue dot', coined by Carl Sagan for the famous photograph Voyager 1 took as it left the solar system in February 1990. At Sagan's suggestion the spacecraft's camera was turned back towards Earth. Soon after, the camera was turned off in order to conserve power for the spacecraft's continuing interstellar journey.  You can read and listen to Carl Sagan's famous words describing the photograph, and the effect it had on him and many others HERE

A snippet from Sagan:
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

How poignant is - no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves?

In an era where emerging technologies pose existential risks, saving us from ourselves is a useful thought to ponder. In an era where weapons systems are increasingly interconnected across military and civilian arenas, and increasingly autonomous, saving us from ourselves takes on even more poignancy.  

Me in the studio working on Pale Blue Dot - helped by a glass a bubbly! 

Pale Blue Dot - AKA Earth Oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm 2017

Anomaly Detection no 2 Oil on linen 120 x 180 cm 2017

Detail of Anomaly Detection no 2

Rose Tinted Landing Oil on canvas 40 x 50 cm 2017

Have we accepted ubiquitous surveillance and always present potential targeting into our collective subconscious? I call it a 'landing' on our subconscious - a kind of insidious colonisation of imagination presented as a way to save ourselves! 

Launching the New Horizon oil on canvas 60 x 92 cm 2017

In Launching the New Horizon there is a pale blue dot, set amongst the array of other celestial dots. The 'new horizon' is created by the flat wings of the unmanned weaponised drone.

21st Century Cloud Fantasy Oil on canvas 67 x 76 cm 2017

 Australian Landscape Cutout Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm 2015

From a cosmic perspective it becomes apparent that Earth is our only home, at least for the foreseeable future. Concepts of nationhood, land ownership, borders, and sovereign power seem futile. If we all dug to the centre of the Earth, we'd all meet as one!

Planet $ oil on linen 30 x 30 cm 2011

Carl Sagan The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. 

Planet $ poses questions about how we 'value' our safe harbor, our home. 

Will the way we 'value' things help save us from ourselves? 



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