Dubai-based British artist sends first artwork to the Moon

Sacha Jafri previously created the world’s largest art canvas titled and sold it for Dh227.75 million in Dubai

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Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 4:38 PM

A Dubai-based British artist has officially sent the first artwork to the Moon, with a strong message of love and empathy for all humanity.

Sacha Jafri’s artwork titled ‘We Rise Together with the Light of the Moon’ was launched inside Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One. The lunar lander lifted off aboard United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Monday.

Using an aerospace-grade aluminium gold plate as his canvas, Jafri lasered his unique piece on the Moon-sesilient plate featuring a man and woman surrounded by a scrawling motif of 88 hearts in various sizes. The heart-motif artwork “depicts a reconnected humanity, with two central figures holding hands, entwined by love and empathy.”

He said: “My artwork aims to be a symbol for a reconnected humanity. At night, as our Earth falls into darkness, our only natural light comes from the Moon. But now as it shines its light, it shines with the symbolic message of my artwork, and from the darkness comes the light.

“My hope is for humanity to reunite as we begin to vibrate at a higher frequency, embrace humility, understand the power of universal consciousness, and realise the fragility of our planet,” underscored the contemporary artist, who previously made waves by creating the world’s largest art canvas titled ‘The Journey of Humanity’, sold it for a whopping Dh227.75 million at an auction in Dubai back in March 2021.

No soft landing

Jafri’s artwork – though now in space – however, will not be able to land on the Moon as planned on February 23. The first lander to launch from the US soil in half a century is reported to have “no chance” of making a successful landing because of a “crippling propellant leak” that occurred in the first few hours of the lunar lander's journey into space.

The Pittsburgh-based firm Astrobotic expressed consolation that the lander has enough fuel left to allow it to operate as a an “orbiting spacecraft while engineers decide on its new mission in orbit.”

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One is part of the Nasa Artemis programme and intended to be the first US spacecraft to land on the Moon's surface since Apollo 17 in 1972.

‘Eternal artwork’

Sacha Jafri
Sacha Jafri

Jafri, who beat Jeff Koons in sending an artwork to the Moon, said he used a moon-resilient aerospace grade aluminum gold plate as his canvas for the artwork to withstand the extreme lunar conditions, which swings from a blistering 120° Celsius during lunar daytime and drops to unforgiving -130°C at night.

Jafri’s Moon-bound artwork was first announced in February 2022 and it underwent two years of testing in order for British private company Spacebit to confirm that the artwork would last eternally on the Moon.

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