Lunar meteorite & oil on canvas
Dimensions: 120cm (H) x 100cm (W) x 3cm (D) / 47.2" (H) x 39.4" (W) x 1.2" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Looking back at the far side of the moon with the tiny marble earth nestled in distant space. The original photo was taken by China's Chang'e 5 Lunar Explorer.
I have made oil paint from material that originated on the surface of the moon, from lunar meteorites. These meteorites start as a part of the lunar surface and are ejected into space when the moon is impacted by other space rocks like asteroids. The ejected surface material is captured by the earth's gravity until it eventually crashes into the earth's surface.
Since the Apollo missions brought back lunar samples to be examined, it is now possible to identify these very rare meteorites as originating from the moon. Around 500 lunar meteorite samples have been discovered from an estimated 30 meteorite falls.
As meteorite dealers cut the rocks into tiny samples for collectors to purchase, the cutting dust is collected and this is what I use to make paint from. It is a very fine powder that is at least 99.5% pure lunar meteorite dust. It binds really well with the linseed oil to make paint, turning a darker grey when the oil is added.
For the jewel-like earth I have used the very precious lapis lazuli paint.
Based in: London
Mark Batty lives and works in London. After graduating in Illustration in 2013 he changed his focus to fine art, specifically painting. After studying astronomy at school and joining a local observers group, he made the cosmos his artistic focus by examining the ethereal yet overwhelming nature of space through oil paint.
Through practice-based research and collaboration with astronomers and geologists, Batty’s work explores the relationship between science and art. He represents stellar regions, which reconfigure the aesthetic of the landscape through astronomical mapping. He brings materiality to his astronomic subject matter by grinding his own pigments with geological substances such as dust from lunar meteorites.
Recent exhibitions include Celestial Light, London (2021), Possible Futures, London (2021), Inner Space alongside works by Oliver Beer, Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick and Katie Patterson, London (2020), From the Studio Floor, Cambridge (2020), Captive State, London (2019).
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