Acclaimed Leicester space artist Matt Turner will embark on an exciting research journey to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center USA to gather inspiration and ideas for an exhibition to be revealed at Space Park Leicester in the autumn.

Matt, a dedicated space artist and former art teacher with 22 years of experience, has already made significant contributions to the space art community, having been the artist in residence at the Legends of Space show in Lausanne, Switzerland and organising the Space: Science and Nature exhibition at Space Park Leicester in 2022.

His latest mission commencing on February 21 is funded by Arts Council England and The Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust and includes meetings with renowned figures including astronaut and artist Nicole Stott, designer of mission patches Tim Gagnon, and other members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists of which he is a member.

Matt’s contacts at NASA and Lockheed Martin, a prominent American aerospace and technology corporation, are also working on securing access to Artemis moon landing programme hardware for him to create drawings and studies related to the development of the Orion capsule.

He said: “While I am there, I will be doing some drawing and photography research based on the Artemis moon landing programme, and meeting with Gwen Griffin, patron of Kennedy Space Center and daughter of Apollo Flight Controller, Gerry Griffin. I also plan to visit the Robert McCall NASA murals at Johnson Space Center.

“I am excited about the opportunity to make lasting contacts, explore possibilities for exhibitions, and gain inspiration for new artwork.”

In addition to visiting the USA, Matt will be creating some new art for the ARTEMIS Live shows in Australia from the 19th to the 30th of May and has been invited to take part as an artist in residence.

Artemis Live is an unprecedented, and unique live experience that takes audiences on a journey into the robotic and human Moon exploration programme ARTEMIS, led by NASA.

He added: “On my return, I will be looking to create some new work based on my trips, some of which will be NASA and ARTEMIS inspired, but I also wanted to work closer to home with Space Park Leicester and the National Space Centre and create work inspired by their projects and ultimately have a space to exhibit and do some kind of public outreach.”

A spokesman for Space Park Leicester said: “Matt’s dedication to his craft is evident in his commitment to the local art scene. As a UK-based artist, he plans to exhibit his space-inspired artwork at Space Park Leicester, building on his successful collaboration with the organisation.

“We eagerly anticipate Matt’s return from his research trip to witness the creation of new artwork inspired by NASA, Artemis, and Space Park Leicester’s projects. The unveiling of Matt’s work in the autumn promises to be a momentous occasion, marking another milestone in the intersection of art and space exploration.”

Having a passion for space travel, exploration and adventure, Matt draws inspiration from his extensive travels and experiences. His artistic journey includes studying at the Moscow Institute of Architecture, exploring the Moscow Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, and capturing the raw power and energy of a Space X Falcon launch at the Kennedy Space Center.

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