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

Grizzly Plaza Revitalization team. Robert Inwood (left), Bill Cameron, Fran Jenkins and Tom Lynn (creators of the bear statues). (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives #10304 TR-853)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read