Heavenly Bodies / by Kate Tupper

Last fall I wrote a proposal that I truly thought would fail. I wrote it because I believed at some point in my lifetime, skill set and experience combined with imagination, would finally be enough to qualify a project for funding. Funding from somewhere other than my own pockets.

I am amazed and overwhelmed to announce that time is now! I am so grateful to my friends and family who have supported me throughout this life of trying times you believed in my vision and fed it too. And a big thank you to B.C. Arts Council for making dreams come true. 

Heavenly Bodies will be a steel and illuminated resin rocket planetarium. Its cosmic patterns seek to connect us with our origins. Installed indoors or out, it can be viewed day and night. 


Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image. 10,000 plus galaxies in one tiny point in the sky.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image. 10,000 plus galaxies in one tiny point in the sky.

 B.C. Arts Council Selection Jury, 

I seek beauty that comes with disequilibrium. I seek darkness accentuated by light. 

I have wondered, lately, why our culture’s collective eyes and imaginations are returning to the dream of space. The signs are there, expressed through pop culture, fashion, and entertainment. I believe that it is partially due to the public’s adoration of astronaut, Chris Hadfield, with his use of photographs, the written word, and social media. He brought humanity to space and space to humanity. We have reconnected. 

I spent years investigating, sketching, and journaling the visual perfection of nature, and what became apparent to me were nature’s patterns. More and more, science brings us these patterns. Personable scientists like Dr. Helen Czerski, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye create television shows like Cosmos, Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey, and Space Suite, making statements of fact that force us to push aside our perceptions of cultural differences and promote cooperation as a species. This practical aspect of popular science comes with the magic of images taken by astronomers with the Hubble telescope; images that can captivate and inspire a new generation. In a society that is increasingly controlled by fear of the unknown, it’s time to encourage other emotions and reactions … reactions such as wonder, awe, and connection. Although space feels both dangerous and beautiful, it has much to teach us about ourselves. 

We live in the midst of a race to bring the common man to space. Private firms are working towards it. NASA says it will take $100 billion and twenty years: I propose to do it for .001% of that in two months. 

Thank you for considering my application. 


Kate Tupper