Moon Flag

I’ve been invited to take part in a group exhibition marking the 50th Anniversary of the the first manned Moon landing. ‘The Moon @ 50‘ is at Ilkley Manor House, Castle Yard, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 9DT on Saturdays & Sundays 11am to 4pm throughout August 2019.

My piece takes the form of an 400x210mm American flag made from transparent acrylic and polythene bubble wrap.

A couple of years ago, a story shared on social media speculated that the six red, white and blue American flags left on the Moon by the Apollo missions had probably faded to white with the intense Ultra Violet radiation. This thought caught my imagination and seemed a perfect metaphor for how the future turned out to be a pale shadow of people’s hopes and dreams.

It turned out “the space age” wasn’t the future, on 20 July 1969, it was the already becoming the past. There were no manned missions to Mars. And 2001 wasn’t like the film, although many would describe the events of September 11th 2001 as like something out of a movie.

A plaque was attached to the descent stage of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, which remained on the Moon. It read: “…We came in peace for all mankind”. But there was no peace on Earth – There was the Vietnam War, like “the space race” very much a proxy Cold War.

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