11 paintings of former Yukon artist heading to the moon

December 21, 2021
11 paintings of former Yukon artist heading to the moon
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I’ve interviewed a lot of artists over my years of hosting the afternoon show on CBC Radio in Whitehorse, but only one has decided to take me to the moon.

Heather Horton Whedon lived and worked in the Yukon for a few years, and we had several great chats. She was always an interesting, thoughtful interview, and an amazing artist.

She left the territory a number of years ago, but we stayed in touch. A few weeks ago, she sent me a note and said some of her work was going to be included in the upcoming Lunar Codex, a plan to digitize the work of hundreds of creatives and shoot it to the moon.

And she asked if an interview we did could be included.

A painting by Canadian artist Heather Horton Whedon that will be included in the lunar codex. (Photo by Heather Horton Whedon)

The Lunar Codex has been called the “most expansive and diverse collection of culture ever launched to the moon.”

Physicist and storyteller Samuel Peralta is the payload coordinator of the project.

“What we’re trying to do is archive contemporary artists and writers and musicians and filmmakers in a time capsule,” said Peralta. “Except this time, the time capsule isn’t under a building, it’s going on rockets to the moon.”

There will be three separate trips to the moon, beginning next year, and most of the payload will consist of NASA scientific projects. Peralta has acquired space for small discs that will contain art he has curated.

“(Sam) has been a long time collector and I’m just delighted to be involved in this,” said Horton Whedon. 

“It’s pretty expensive,” said Peralta. “You can buy tickets to space right now, if you have the deep pockets for it. I don’t have those kind of deep pockets, otherwise I would buy a ticket myself. But I have enough money to buy a sliver of space.”

The first two trips of the Lunar Codex will contain art, the third will be larger and also contain film and audio components, like the interview Heather and I did a few years ago.

Heather Horton Whedon’s painting of her cat Sasha will also be included. (Photo by Heather Horton Whedon)

Horton Whedon is particularly delighted by the fact two of her 11 paintings depict her cat, Sasha.

“He passed away while I was in lockdown, and I wasn’t able to be with him,” she said. “He was such a dear friend. So I messaged Sam, knowing that the pictures were going to be in a digital format and maybe he could squeeze in room for a painting of Sasha.”

Two paintings featuring Sasha were ultimately added to the collection.

“I’ll never look at the moon the same way again.”



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