Friday, May 20, 2011

Arty Farty Friday ~ David A. Hardy - Space Artist

David A. Hardy, space artist, one of the first of that ilk, internationally renowned as one of the world's leading astronomical, space and science-fiction artists. His cover illustrations and short stories have appeared in many major science-fiction magazines, book and record album covers.

He was born on 10 April 1936 in Bournville, Birmingham, UK. After service in the Royal Air Force he worked in the Design Department of Cadbury's (best chocolate there is - but only the kind bought in Britain, not the US version!) He created advertising art and packaging for Cadbury chocolate products. From mid-1960s he went freelance.

He has illustrated around 20 books, many devised by himself. An example: Challenge of the Stars. He is said to be passionately interested in rock music too.

His natal chart, set for 12 noon as time of birth is unknown:

No prizes for spotting the obvious here: Mars conjunct Uranus - Uranus being the planet most assiociated with the future, technology, space etc. tightly linked to a personal planet, Mars (energy, drive).

Not so obvious: there are no planets in Air signs, which I find quite surprising - if his rising sign were to be Aquarius, Gemini or Libra that would add balance things - if not - then I could fall back on the theory of some astrologers that when an element is missing from a natal chart, all attention goes to that element and what it represents. I'm not sure I agree with that though. Seems like a bit of a cop out.

Jupiter is the another planet I'd expect to see in a significant place here. Jupiter represents travel, long distance travel, which must include space travel and interest in same. In Hardy's chart Jupiter is at 24* of its own sign, Sagittarius - a good position, allowing all of its essence to "shine through". Jupiter is in harmonious trine to Hardy's pioneering Aries Sun at 20* Aries.

Neptune in Virgo lay in harmonious trine to the Mars/Uranus conjunction, pulling in creativity to the mix of drive and futuristic subject matter. These planets are in Earth signs, Virgo and Taurus, which might seem to be counterprodictive for an illustrator of space subjects. But I see this as an indication that these futuristic scenarios are being brought down to Earth, for us all to appreciate and wonder at.

Samples of his work:




SELF PORTRAIT - Biker on Mars





R J Adams said...

Even though I worked as a stock auditor at Cadbury's Moreton factory on the Wirral (and, in the process, consumed way more of their product than was good for me!) and later worked for the RSPCA in Birmingham close by the Bournville factory and its amazing 'workers' village', I still managed to miss out on this amazing artist. I love this type of art.

Incidentally, sadly Cadbury's chocolate is no longer Cadbury's. It is now nothing more than a subsidiary of the US based Kraft foods. My father, now 95, worked at the Moreton plant as an electrician for many years while the firm was still owned by the Cadbury family (I think it was Peter and Dominic who used to visit the plant regularly while he was there).

The horrific takeover by Kraft in 2009 was summarized by Peter Cadbury, thus: ""I find it disturbing that 160 years of history and building up a company and brands and a particular concern about employees could just go. It does seem to threaten to destroy everything they have worked for. I’m trying not to be emotional about it, but it seems like Kraft are playing a long game. Their own brands have gone ex-growth."

British prime minister Gordon Brown and his political cohort, Peter Mandelson,vigorously promoted the takeover by Kraft Foods as being 'good for the economy and good for jobs'. The Royal Bank of Scotland, at the time owned by the British taxpayer, funded the takeover to the tune of seven billion pounds.

One year later, Kraft closed the Cadbury's factory at Bristol with the loss of 400 jobs. Earlier this year it announced the closure of the Moreton plant with the loss of a similar number of jobs. Kraft decided to move production to Poland, where production costs (read; wages) were much cheaper.

One can only wonder how much Brown and Mandelson pocketed between them for assisting in the success of this horrific takeover.

No doubt, David Hardy's creations went the way of the company's workerforce.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~~ I didn't know about the takeover, RJ. Sad indeed! But so typical of what's been going on in recent years.

Thanks for the information. So I guess the chocolate no longer has that "special" Cadbury taste. I noticed the US version didn't have it with my first bite.

I like these paintings too. I have the Portals to Infinity one stretched as my desktop wallpaper at present.