Stark galleries to exhibit MFA student’s photos of alien worlds

Hypothetical landscapes of distant worlds, photographed by Cassandra Hanks, a Texas A&M Master of Fine Arts student, will be exhibited in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M’s Memorial Student Center July 18-27, 2014.

Hanks will discuss the photos at the exhibit’s opening, 5 p.m. July 18. Her presentation will be preceded by a 4 p.m. reception.

In her “Alien Landscapes” images, Hanks uses scientific data gathered from rovers, satellites and telescopes to create miniature planetary landscapes in a studio, which she photographs to reflect the myriad worlds and visual possibilities in our solar system.

“The terrain of our neighboring planets serves as a hypothetical landscape for what earth used to be, could have been, or what it might become,” said Hanks. “These photographs of synthesized planetary landscapes create prophetic possibilities of the impact of natural and human acts of destruction.”

 

To create the exhibit’s Venus series, Hanks covered pieces of foam with plaster, covered the foam with paprika and spray paint, added a mountain she sculpted out of clay, burned an incense cone to simulate the planet’s fog and haze and used bacon bits for Venetian rocks.

She simulated Jupiter using condensed milk, dyes, and light-emitting diodes to imitate geysers of light that occur as a reaction between solid metallic hydrogen and liquid metallic hydrogen in the giant planet’s atmosphere.

The photos were recently exhibited in “Space Landscape,” an exhibit in New York’s HERE gallery with work from three other artists featuring sculpture, video and installation.

The show revealed how art can take viewers on journeys of the mind, even into outer space, using the most ordinary of materials, said “Space Landscape” curator Bobby Lucy.

Hanks’ photography has also been displayed at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, N.Y. the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tuscon, Ariz. and will soon be on display at the Fresh Arts Gallery in Houston. Her works are part of the University of Arizona’s art collection.

posted April 29, 2014