Leverhulme Artist in Residence

Pandora Mond was awarded the Leverhulme Artist in Residence in the academic year 2014-15, working with the Astrophysics Group at the University of Exeter.

Inspired by the research of the group into extrasolar planets, Pandora produced a collection of paintings, each a circular canvas 5 feet in diameter.  These paintings and the background for their inspiration can be seen below. 

For more information on Pandora and her work visit Pandora's website.

Frozen Earth

Inspired by the discovery of tidally locked planets, which do not rotate like our Earth as they lie too close to their stars and are suspended by gravitational forces, so one side is forever in frozen darkness and the other lies in permanent heat.

Goldilocks Zone

This painting is about the conditions for life which simulate those we have on Earth.  The candidates which fit into this category are said to be in the habitable or "Goldilocks" zone.

Habitable World

What kind of life might be out there?  This painting started with the idea of very basic microbial life, the earliest beginnings and thinking about what conditions could be conducive to abiogenesis.  The primordial soup of another world.

Drake's Equation

Inspired by Frank Drake's controversial equation which has stimulated debate as to the possible existence of another advanced civilisation in the universe.  We are listening but can they communicate with us?

Rains of Glass

Inspired by the Jupiter-like planet where glass rains fall non-incessantly.  The atmosphere, filled with tiny silicate particles, scatters blue light giving the planet its unique colour reminiscent of our Earth.

Earthly Markers

A painting which is inspired from flying over the Atlas Mountains, looking down on a desolate landscape, which on very close observation is punctuated with tiny signs of remote life and a frail track leading to a Berber village.  Little has changed in such places over time, so maybe a new world could look like this?

A World of Sea

Inspired by the hypothetical ocean planet or water world, where the oceans would cover the whole planet and be hundreds of kilometres deep, much deeper than the oceans on Earth.

Shrouded Planet

Inspired by the study of hazy atmospheres by scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini mission looking at the sunset on Saturn's smog enshrouded moon, Titan, scientists have been able to predict that many exoplanets would be similarly obscured.  The idea that many of these planets may remain shrouded or secret appealed to me.

Distant Worlds

The limitless potential of these worlds inspired this painting and the profound effect of seeing the famous "deep field" Hubble photograph, taken over a period of 10 days and 100 hours exposure time, it revealed the ancient universe for the first time.  Almost 3,000 galaxies, the youngest and most distant ever observed and some as they were just half a billion years after the Big Bang.

Dissolving World

A painting created by chance reactions of pigment and metal powders, one I had minimal control over, so left to chance.  This was a painting which made itself, a random collision of elements, much like our distant neighbours?