Jedika on the Moon

Peregrine Lander, Astrobotic, (2021), “Peregrine is our small-class lunar lander. It is poised to carry out the first commercial mission to the Moon, and be the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon since the Apollo program”

The past couple of years has been an incredibly difficult period in a myriad of ways for everyone in the world.

As an artist, teacher, husband and parent of two kids, this pandemic has turned our lives upside down resulting in new challenges and life changes.

The last thing I expected was to receive the most mind-blowing news from the other side of the globe that would alter the destinations of my drawings and outlooks on what is possible.

The story began back in March of 2021. I was sitting in a café with a coffee and sketchbook in hand (I, of course, am never separated from my sketchbook).  It was a rare occasion to be out during that time when COVID19 was not causing as much chaos as it was around the world. For at least a brief moment, I felt some kind of semblance of normality during a time when normality was not quite the norm.

An alert appeared on my phone from a social media platform. I casually picked it up and spotted that the noted American artist Steven Daluz had tagged me on a thread that read ‘…a MASSIVE congratulations to all.’ Intrigued, I opened the page, half suspecting that it was most likely a hacked page. But as I scrolled through the text my eyes pricked up in a shock where everything around me stood still. It read: “…I am thrilled to announce that one of the issues I curated for PoetsArtists Magazine in December 2016, is going to the Moon in a time Capsule! It is issue  #78 “100 Great Drawings…”

I read and reread the announcement over and over again while my hands were trembling. I was searching for something, anything that quickly alerted me to the realisation that the story was not true, to lessen the disappoint. But there was nothing. The story was true, I was indeed going to the moon! The first person that I wanted to tell was my partner, Eliza. I opened the text and wrote the message: ‘…I have just been informed that my drawings are amongst a selection of digital copies being sent to the moon!’ Eliza swiftly replied: ‘Um WHAT?’ Eliza then called to unpack the announcement.

Trying to explain or comprehend the concept that a part of you is going to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and land permanently on the surface of the moon is a pleasurably difficult one to navigate. It isn’t exactly a notion that you think up or dream about. It is, quite simply, one of the most unexpected and phenomenal gifts so freely dropped at my doorstep.

This gift was conceptualized and coordinated by a noted physicist, entrepreneur, inventor, author, and now art curator, Dr Samuel Peralta.

Dr Peralta is truly a Renaissance Man. He is the Co-Founder of the Bestselling Fiction Community Discover Sci-Fi, a producer of Golden Globe Nominated and Emmy Award Winning Films. He has also received the Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.

Dr Peralta is a living example of a person who connects Art, Poetry and Science all together, reemphasizing, in my view, that creativity and innovation are not only vital qualities to navigate us through the turbulent 21st Century, but are examples of the strengths that unites Humanity.

Along with his extensive work and accolades, Dr Peralta Space Curation is demonstrating his love for creative Equality and paying forward to Artists all over the world.

Thousands of diverse creative works by 1200 artists and one A.I. has been assembled onto ‘The Peregrine Collection.’ His curation is an act of levelling the playing field. You do not need to be famous to be granted the possibility to be included in this space humanitarian initiative. Artists and Writers from far and wide, including U.K., Ireland, Belgium, Australia, Sri Lanka, US, Canada, Singapore and the Philippines have been curated as a united collective of Creatives.

“Our hope is that future travelers who find this capsule will discover some of the richness of our world today,” Dr. Peralta said. “It speaks to the idea that, despite wars and pandemics and climate upheaval, humankind found time to dream, time to create art.”

My drawings, along with the works of over 1200 artists have been digitised and placed into two microSD cards. These cards were then placed into DHL MoonBox capsules attached to the first commercial Lunar Payload named the Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander.

Originally the launch was set for July 2021 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to coincide with the 50yr Apollo mission anniversary. But now the launch has been rescheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

It has been over seven months since I first reacted to the incredible news. After some time to let it sink in, it still doesn’t seem quite real.

For more information, see Jedika on the Moon

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