B.C. artist’s paintings bound for galactic gallery on the moon

Mark Heine with a painting from his Sirens series. Two pieces from the series will go to the moon later this year. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Mark Heine with a painting from his Sirens series. Two pieces from the series will go to the moon later this year. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
A digital form of this painting, Imminent, by Victoria Artist Mark Heine, will be going to the moon later this year. (Photo courtesy of Mark Heine)A digital form of this painting, Imminent, by Victoria Artist Mark Heine, will be going to the moon later this year. (Photo courtesy of Mark Heine)
Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Mark Heine paints in his Victoria studio. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Victoria artist Mark Heine with a painting from his Sirens series. Two pieces from the series will go to the moon later this year. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Victoria artist Mark Heine with a painting from his Sirens series. Two pieces from the series will go to the moon later this year. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Mark Heine’s paintings evoke humans’ connection to the Earth and have travelled all over the globe.

There lies the irony in two of his paintings, which capture humanity’s dependence on the life-giving oceans and will be leaving the planet later this year, to live forever on Lacus Mortis, the moon’s Lake of Death.

Super compressed digital copies of the Victoria artist’s paintings, Imminent and Duress, will be included in The Lunar Codex, a collection of creative works from 3,000 artists worldwide that will be sent to the moon aboard the Peregrine Lander in December.

His two moon-bound paintings are from a series called Sirens that he’s been working on since 2014.

“The fact that this whole series of work is about trying to take care of the planet we’re on now – and then it’s going to be off on the moon – is kind of a strange contrast,” Heine said.

READ: More ‘strings of lights’ reported in coastal B.C.’s night skies

“Our hope is that future travelers who find these time capsules will discover some of the richness of our world today,” says Samuel Peralta, The Lunar Codex’ payload coordinator and curator.

As his paintings await their lunar leap, it’s indescribable for Heine that his art will be among the galactic gallery.

“It basically just sits there for the rest of time,” he said. “It’s bizarre, it’s a very strange feeling to know that my work is going to be off the planet.”

Heine’s cheery personality comes out with each jovial laugh, a contrast to the mystical visuals of drowning desperation, coastal wistfulness and sorrow told by his brushstrokes in Sirens.

A digital form of this painting, Duress, by Victoria artist Mark Heine will be going to the moon later this year. (Photo courtesy of Mark Heine)

While his art is reaching the highs of space, it’s the home of Earth’s depths that inspire Heine. The oceans have been central in his life since he was young and it’s led to him putting all of his artistic might into preserving them.

He’s in the late stages of finalizing a fictional book that plays off the characters of the Sirens paintings. Heine’s artistic process has been an interplay between his paintings and his writing, with each inspiring the other along the way. The book is a contemporary interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey and tells a tale of Sirens – creatures from Greek mythology – that are harmed by mankind’s pollution, garbage and species exploitation. He hopes his storytelling will get youth fired up about environmental sustainability.

“It’s really the ocean crying out to us to try and change the way that we treat the environment,” Heine said. “It’s about trying to give a personality to the ocean.”

He sees young people burnt-out by a bombardment with gloomy climate change issues and a hurting Earth, so he hopes a different perspective will awaken their desire to be the planet’s saviours.

“I’m trying to get them interested in the story and give the environment more of a voice,” Heine said.

READ: NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site


Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

moonVisual Arts

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for the Cariboo north including Quesnel. (Black Press file image)
Environment Canada issues thunderstorm watch for Quesnel

A chance of thundershowers is forcasted to last until Tuesday

The Gold Pan Grannies attended the Quesnel Farmers’ Market where they sold perennials and vegetable plants and fruit trees by donation Saturday, May 29. They were able to raise $1,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Gold Pan Grannies raise $1,000 for Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

Annual plant sale at Quesnel Farmers’ Market a success

Amy Vardy is one of four dancers to compete in their final year of the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts. (Submitted Photo)
Quesnel Festival of the Arts graduating dancer profile: Amy Vardy

The Quesnel Festival of the Performing arts is honouring their graduating dancers

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Predictions of climate variability and effects on agriculture

Oliver Rujanschi, we will miss you and the warmth that you were. Sorry friend

Emily Nelson is one of four graduating dancers honoured by the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts.(Submitted Photo - Robyn Louise Photography)
Quesnel Festival of the Arts graduating dancer profile: Emily Nelson

The Festival of the Arts is honouring graduating dancers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read