top of page
Like gold to airy thinness beat

Like gold to airy thinness beat

2022

Balsa wood, 22 carat gold leaf

Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space

A miniature model of a boat in balsa wood. The sail is tissue paper gilded with fine 22 carat gold leaf. The single square-rigged sail indicates that the ship is a cog, once widely used in north-west medieval Europe.


This tiny ship is naïve, bold and determined.


This piece is inspired by the love poem A Valediction Forbidding Mourning written by John Donne in 1612. He wrote this love poem to his wife in England before his voyage to Europe. The poem assures us that two people who are physically separated will remain spiritually connected. The central simile of the piece is in the sixth stanza:


“Our two souls therefore, which are one,


   Though I must go, endure not yet


A breach, but an expansion,


   Like gold to airy thinness beat.”


According to Donne, though the lovers are separated, their souls will expand like fine gold to maintain their connection across oceans.


“Like gold to airy thinness beat” evokes the fine solar sails which will soon carry new ships across the oceans of space. One day lovers will stand on separate worlds, and these sails will bridge the gulf between them. This is a model for how mankind’s expansion across space can be: the very best of us will expand across vast distances, and yet we can conquer the loneliness of space travel if we stay connected with our own souls and those of others.

Technical information:

Artwork name:

Like gold to airy thinness beat

Date:

Creator:

2022

Justin Donnelly

Country:

This work is part of the following collection:

Moon Gallery

Balsa wood, 22 carat gold leaf

Medium:

Dimensions:

1 x 1 x 1 cm

Sculpture

Genre:

IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

Antares 230+ / NG-17 Cygnus resupply mission

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station

COSPAR id

2022-015B

Launch location:

NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia

Launch date:

19 Feb 2022

Orbit / space location:

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

Return vehicle:

SpaceX Dragon 2

End date:

11 January 2023

Status:

Returned

Client / Agency:

Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space

Artist:

Justin Donnelly

Astrophysicist

Justin Donnelly

Gillian Fitzpatrick

Artist

Ireland

Gillian Fitzpatrick

Collection:

Moon Gallery

2022

Moon Gallery

Feedback

Let's do this together!

This record is a work in progress. We invite you to contribute to this archive.
If you have additional information to share about this artwork, or if you spotted an error, please leave a comment below.

Partagez vos idéesSoyez le premier à rédiger un commentaire.

Are you the copyright holder of this artwork and do not wish to be included in this archive, then let us know by mail and we will remove your record.
 

Copyright Disclaimer: Exception to copyright for libraries, museums and archives. Copies for the preservation of cultural and scientific heritage: libraries, archives or museums can restore works or make digital copies of works in order to preserve and conserve them for future generations. More info here. This database and its content are protected. More info here. No copyright infringement intended.

bottom of page