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April 2004
It's space but not as we know it
By Phill Huxley
A David Hardy painting
David Hardy - An asteroid approaches earth
Brummie astro-artist David Hardy has teamed up with legendary astronomer Sir Patrick Moore for a new book, 50 years after they first worked together.

David Hardy talks to BBC WM's Adrian Goldberg

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David A Hardy - AstroArt
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Hall Green's David A Hardy once again shows us his epic visions of space in his latest book 'Futures: 50 Years in Space'.

A David Hardy painting
A Martian Canyon

The collaboration with Patrick Moore includes some of David's original images from the 70's compared with new modern interpretations.

It also features dozens of new, original paintings from the world famous space-artist - many of them digitally created.

The book is a celebration of Hardy and Moore's half century of work as an artist/author team, and compares their predictions and ideas from the 50's and 70's with today's reality. It also looks at how the future was viewed then and compares that with how it is seen today.

Amazing new discoveries

"Our views of the universe and space exploration have changed in the past 50 years" said David, "There are no bases on the Moon or Mars, but there are all the amazing new discoveries by space probes such as Viking, Voyager and Galileo, plus the Hubble Space Telescope"

David with one of his 'portals'

"Many of the new paintings are of objects which we did not even know existed in 1954, or even 1972 - such as pulsars, neutron stars, black holes and jetting galaxies"

"Science and imagination"

David describes his work as "a combination of science and imagination" and says he tries to offer a different perspective on space in his paintings:

"I get a lot of information from space probes, but of course they always look down at the planet from above. I like to imagine myself down on the surface, walking about and then drawing the image".

50-year career

A David Hardy painting
The Eta Carinae star explodes

David, who had an asteroid named after him in 1998, has been illustrating space scenes since the 50's.

During his illustrious 50-year career, he has worked with author Arthur C. Clarke and scientist Carl Sagan, as well as a long standing collaboration with Patrick Moore.

Celebrity fans include Queen guitarist Brian May, sci-fi author Isaac Asimov and the late Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones.

He learnt his trade as an illustrator whilst working at Cadbury's in Bournville and first worked with Patrick Moore in 1954 on a book entitled 'The Challenge of the Stars' - though it failed to find a publisher.

A David Hardy painting
A view from Jupiter's moon - Callisto

In 1972 a book with that title was finally released, with a revised edition called 'New Challenge of the Stars' published in 1978. These books inspired a new generation of space artists and helped to establish David as Britain's foremost astronomical artist.

In 2001, David published 'Hardyware', a retrospective of his life and work from his early career onwards. In 2003 he switched from pictures to words when his first novel 'Aurora: A Child of Two Worlds' was released

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