Victoria artist over the moon about his paintings being launched into space

·2 min read
Mark Heine's painting called Imminent will be part of a time capsule containing works of art to be transported to the moon by a commercial spacecraft later this year.  (Submitted by Mark Heine - image credit)
Mark Heine's painting called Imminent will be part of a time capsule containing works of art to be transported to the moon by a commercial spacecraft later this year. (Submitted by Mark Heine - image credit)

Artist Mark Heine's paintings are out of this world, or at least they will be when his art travels to the moon this year.

Heine is one of 3,000 visual artists chosen to be part of the Lunar Codex collection which is bound for the surface of the moon in December as part of the first commercial moon launch in history and the first U.S. lunar landing in over 50 years.

"The surface of the planet Earth changes so rapidly that we don't really have a lot of artwork from ancient times. On the moon, it's just going to be there forever, so it's quite an odd feeling," Heine told Kathryn Marlow on CBC's On The Island.

The Lunar Codex project describes itself as a "message-in-a-bottle to the future" that uses digital and analog technology to preserve art, books and music in a time capsules to be left on the moon. The capsules will be transported as part of NASA's moon exploration program called Artemis.

Heine calls himself "a child of the space race." He can still vividly remember when Apollo 8 landed on the moon when he was seven.

"It's exciting to think that soon I'll have my own small presence on that distant place of my childhood dreams," Heine said.

Duress is the second of Heine's paintings to be part of the Lunar Codex collection.
Duress is the second of Heine's paintings to be part of the Lunar Codex collection.(Submitted by Mark Heine)

Heine's two digitized paintings to be included in the time capsule are called Imminent and Duress.

His paintings are part of his ongoing series called Sirens, that features the visualization of key moments in his upcoming novel by the same name.

Promoting sustainability

He says the underlying message in the series and his book is to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable thinking to young adults.

"It's trying to change the attitudes of young people and the way they treat the natural environment. So that message is important now," Heine said.

Heine says it's astonishing to think the time capsule that carries his artwork will be on the moon forever and for someone to find one day in the future.

"The idea about sending these publications up to the moon is that it tells whoever finds it, what the current thinking is and what people are concerned about right now," he said.