Hardy art

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Hawkwind continue to be the overwhelming topic of the moment while I’m reading Joe Banks’ marvellously detailed account of the group’s first decade. One of the many attractions of Hawkwind for this listener was their intersection with other areas of interest: Moorcock and New Worlds, obviously (two of Robert Calvert’s poems appeared in New Worlds Quarterly), but also SF and fantasy in general. The alien planet on the back cover of the Hall of the Mountain Grill album was immediately recognisable as the work of British space artist David A. Hardy thanks to a feature in Visions of the Future (1976) a collection of artwork reprints from the art and fiction magazine Science Fiction Monthly. Hardy had a long association with astronomer Patrick Moore, illustrating the covers of Moore’s novels and later collaborating on a speculative science book, Challenge of the Stars (1972). A few of the latter paintings were reprinted in Visions of the Future, including one with the title Alien Life Forms that depicted amoeboid creatures on a remote planet. The painting would have become the back cover of the Hawkwind album if Hardy hadn’t insisted on creating a new work in a more suitable ratio.

Hardy’s association with Hawkwind extended to their stage shows, with a series of circular paintings used by “Liquid Len” (Jonathan Smeeton) on a rotating projector that covered the band in moving panoramas of ancient monuments, dinosaurs, alien landscapes and exploding worlds. Two of the paintings appear as the endpapers in Joe’s book; the dinosaurs and the monuments may be seen here. Joe’s account also resolved another nagging micro-mystery by confirming that the stage projections used while the group played the instrumental Wind Of Change were also Hardy paintings, not an animated film as I’d been led to believe by a friend who saw one of the shows where the number was performed. The slides apparently showed an isolated tree around which a city grows then self-destructs, although I’ve yet to see a reproduction of any of the paintings.

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Cover design by Bryan Cholfin.

My own Hawkwind covers make very poor comparisons to Hardy’s meticulous renderings but we do have a further connection via The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a collection of stories from the long-running magazine edited by Gordon Van Gelder. I designed the book’s interiors and Hardy contributed the cover art. Hardy painted many covers for F&SF throughout the 1970s and 80s, this shining rocket being a reworking of a cover he produced for the magazine’s 60th anniversary issue. The archetypal spacecraft of classic science fiction, and almost a definitive example. You might even call it a silver machine…

Previously on { feuilleton }
Silver machines
Notes from the Underground
Hawkwind: Days of the Underground
The artists of Future Life
Science Fiction Monthly
The Chronicle of the Cursed Sleeve
Rock shirts
The Cosmic Grill
Void City
Hawk things
The Sonic Assassins
New things for July
Barney Bubbles: artist and designer

Weekend links 283

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Behind by Lisa Wassmann.

• “Without space art, nobody would know what Mars would look like.” Artist David A. Hardy talking to Nadja Sayej about a life spent painting the cosmos and—briefly—working for Hawkwind. Visions of Space, an exhibition of astronomical art, is at the Wells & Mendip Museum throughout November.

• Mixes of the week: Something Beautiful Happened by Cafe Kaput; Autumn Vybes: Mist, Mystery and Motion by Abigail Ward; and Secret Thirteen Mix 166 by Ron Morelli.

• More Ghost Box: Two new singles in the Other Voices series will be released next month. And the label is profiled in the latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine.

It breaks my heart when one writer tells another what she can or cannot do. I once knew a woman, a professor of literature, who said that Flaubert had no right to write Madame Bovary because he was a man. Such dangerous foolishness! This is just another form that dogmatic thinking takes. And it seems to me that the imagining mind—which is also a profoundly human mind—must be unfettered, boundless. To write from the perspective of another’s world demands a generous and a rigorous leap of the spirit; it demands empathy and mindfulness. Writing is so much about subverting dogmatisms of all kinds, above all the ones that insist you cannot go there! You must not say that! Writers need to go anywhere, to take anything on. And the only rule is to do it well.

Rikki Ducornet in a retrospective feature at Dennis Cooper’s blog

• “Horror at its best has always existed outside the mainstream,” says Brian Ennis in another celebratory piece about Thomas Ligotti.

• Alan Clarke & David Rudkin’s Penda’s Fen receives another cinema screening next week at the Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton.

• “[David] Lynch’s films abound with gnomic pronouncements and incantations,” says Dennis Lim.

Stars of the Lid play a tremendous hour-long set at St. Agnes Church in Brooklyn.

Drawn in Stereo: a book of music-related art and illustration by Michael Gillette.

• At Dangerous Minds: Only the coolest people get to sit in the wicker peacock chair.

Everything Is Erotic Therefore Everything Is Exhausting by Johanna Hedva.

Moon Mist (1961) by The Out-Islanders | River Mist (1989) by Brian Eno | Black Mist (Long Version) (2013) by Pye Corner Audio