Artists in Space

David A Hardy - Artist talk

In March 2010 David Hardy's acrylic painting 'Enceladus: Ice Moon of Saturn' became the first astronomical art to be accepted and displayed at the Open Exhibition of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Speaker: David A. Hardy

Date: 1 September 2011
Start Time: 7 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm

Venue: BIS, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

This talk covers the development of astronomical art from its earliest beginnings, and charts its progress through the French artist Lucien Rudaux, Chesley Bonestell and R.A. Smith, and Hardy’s own work from the early 1950s to the present day. It includes a short video of his method of working. Space art is very important as it enables people to see, much more clearly than words, exactly what lies ‘out there’ and how we may reach these objectives. This applies whether it shows a satellite in orbit around Earth or the planet of a distant star.


David A. Hardy joined the BIS in 1952 at the age of 16, and was very active at that time in its Midlands Branch, for which he produced large paintings for exhibitions. He became a Fellow in 1981. He received a 50 Year Certificate in 2002 on the occasion of the Society’s 70th Anniversary. Originally influenced by Chesley Bonestell and R.A. Smith, David is now the longest-established space artist on Planet Earth! He is European Vice President of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and recipient of its Lucian Rudaux Memorial Award. In 1954 he illustrated his first book for Patrick Moore and they have continued to collaborate ever since on books and The Sky at Night, culminating in the 2004 book Futures: 50 Years in Space: The Challenge of the Stars, which received the Sir Arthur Clarke Award in 2005.

He has also written and illustrated a number of his own books, such as Atlas of the Solar System, and wrote, edited and designed Visions of Space Artists Journey Through the Cosmos (1989). A book about his life and work, Hardyware, was published by Dragon’s World in 2001. He has also worked on television programmes and movie production art, has produced hundreds of illustrations and covers for books and magazines, both factual and (science) fiction, and has one published novel, Aurora: A Child of Two Worlds. He now works digitally on a Mac, but still paints ‘traditionally’ in acrylics or oils.

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