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The Heart of Friendship

The Heart of Friendship



Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space

The BLOOD BROTHER RITUAL was already known in ancient Europe and Asia. In old Asian cultures as well as in ancient Southeastern Europe the act and ceremony of becoming blood brothers was generally seen to bring about an alliance between tribes as well as friendship in general. Christianity also recognized sworn brotherhood in a ceremony, both in the Eastern Orthodox churches as in the Roman Catholic church.

Researchers found that the tradition of intertwining arms and drinking wine is believed to be also a representation of becoming blood brothers. I think that any ceremony, whether it consists of intertwining arms or for instance joining heads, as the Maoris do, will express the friendship between peoples and religions and gives the same strong signal.

I travel a lot around the world and I am particularly interested in old civilizations such as the Maori from New Zealand, the Inuit of Greenland, the San people from Southern Africa etc., which are considered to belong to the oldest peoples on earth. In the time to come before the launch I will organize and document ceremonies with representatives of these peoples, as wellas with representatives of religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.

I want to bring together in friendship humankind, represented by various old peoples and religions. I do this in the symbolic form of a tiny heart in my cubicle that will be sent to the moon and that will then keep looking back upon our planet.

These blood brother like ceremonies and the little heart must be seen as a strong symbol of my wish that all people on earth should be connected.

Technical information:

Artwork name:

The Heart of Friendship




Ronald Vles


The Netherlands

This work is part of the following collection:

Moon Gallery




1 x 1 x 1 cm



IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

Antares 230+ / NG-17 Cygnus resupply mission

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station



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



Client / Agency:

Moon Gallery, Nanoracks, Voyager Space


Ronald Vles


The Netherlands

Ronald Vles


Moon Gallery


Moon Gallery


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