SPACE / 宇宙

The golden age of aeronautics (Katherine's road map to the moon)

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Original gold (24-carat gold leaf Cyanotype, Handmade Paper
Ø 385 mm diameter x 30 mm frame dept, by artist Chloe McCarrick

Inspiration

This artwork was inspired by NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Throughout her extraordinary career, Katherine broke boundaries and paved the way for women in stem. The space agency noted her historical role as one of the first African American women to work for NASA.

During her 33 year career, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. She also computed the trajectory for Alan Shepard's first space flight and worked on the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon.


Technique

The Golden Age Of Aeronautics (Katherine’s Road Map To The Moon) was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture, an illustration of the lunar cycles, photographs of a NASA rocket and a halo made of gold and NASA emblems.


After coating the handmade paper with light-sensitive chemistry, it is left to dry in a dark room. The large-scale negative is contact printed onto the paper by exposure to daylight (UV rays). The print is then processed by thoroughly washing in water to remove any unexposed solution. It can then be hung to dry, developing to full density Prussian blue after 24 hours. Once the image is fixed it is hand finished with
24-carat gold leaf.