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The AstroArt of David A. Hardy
The Fires Within
This is the jacket art for The Fires Within: Volcanoes on Earth & Other Planets, published by Dragon's World in 1991. It does not represent any specific volcanoes, but a sort of generic scene. The Moon and Venus (itself a volcanic planet) are in the sky. Original available: Gouache on board, framed under glass (perspex), £1200. Email for details.
Two small vents erupt on the upper flanks of Mount Etna, Sicily. Mt. Etna is very active and constantly threatens the local countryside with floods of lava. Hardy visited Both Etna and Vesuvius, as well as Pompeii and other areas in 2011. (Oils on Board.) Original available: £1500. Email for details.
Original from The Fires Within: Volcanoes on Earth & Other Planets, this shows geologists on Mt. Etna, Sicily. using measuring instruments to see how far the area has risen, which could indicate an imminent eruption. Hardy visited this volcano in 2011. (Gouache.) Original available: £500. Email for details.
A painting in acrylics based upon a computer simulation of how the eruption of Vesuvius would have looked in AD 79, when it buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. Hardy visited the crater in 2011. (SOLD)
The Fall of Pompeii
The forum of Pompeii as it may have looked at the height of the Vesuvius eruption of AD 79. Ash already buries many bodies. (Gouache, from The Fires Within). (SOLD)
Glowing lava from Paricutin, Mexico, engulfs the town of San Juan de Parangaricutiro in June 1944. Only the church tower remains standing. The volcano started in 1943 as dust and gas began jetting from a farmer's field. (Oils on board, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £1500. Email for details.
Mt. Pelée & St.Pierre
St. Pierre, Martinique, with Mt. Pelée in the background, as it would have looked at around 8 am on 8 May, 1902. Shortly before, a nuée ardente had swept through the city, setting it ablaze and killing all but one of its inhabitants. (Gouache, from The Fires Within.) (SOLD)
In 1973 the volcano Helgfell erupted above the port of Haeimaey, just off the south coast of Iceland. Successful attempts were made to limit the lava damage by spraying it with water. (Oils, from The Fires Within.) SOLD.)
Spectacular geysering from the sulphurous lake of Poás volcano, Costa Rica, attracts many visitors. David's wife, Ruth, modelled for this, but says she would never actually go near it! (Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £1,100. Email for details.
Nuées ardentes (glowing clouds of ash and gas) pour rapidly down the sides of Mount Mayon in the Philippines in 1968, observed from a light plane. (Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £1400. Email for details.
Microlight over Raung Volcano
A French team flying over Raung volcano, Indonesia, in a microlight aircraft – ie. a motorised hang-glider. This is a cheap and rapid method of accessing otherwise inaccessible volcanoes. ((Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £1400.Email for details.
Mt. St Helens
In May 1980 Mount St. Helens 'blew its top'. It was the first eruption on mainland USA since 1916, so was a major event. 360 people were evacuated from the area, and ash fell as far as 350km away. The whole northern flank was blasted away from the mountain resulting in a rapid-moving pyroclastic flow, and 57 people died. It is seen here from a peak a few kilometres to the northeast. (Acrylics, from The Fires Within.) (SOLD)
Iceland Fissure Eruption
Floods of lava and clouds of steam pour from part of the Krafla volcanic fissure field at Gjastykki, northeast Iceland, in September 1977. In 1981 Hardy climbed into the crater of Mt. Krafla; but it wasn't erupting at the time! (Gouache, from The Fires Within.) (SOLD)
Light curtains of ash fall from the eruptive cloud over Surtslinger, a small vent which appeared out of the sea near Surtsey, Iceland, in 1965. This is how new islands are formed. Hardy has visited Iceland 4 times since 1981 and saw the new volcano of Eyjafjalljökull erupt in 2010. (Oils, from The Fires Within.) SOLD
Lavaflow into the Ocean, Surtsey
In 1963 a volcanic eruption broke the sea surface off the coast of Iceland to form a new island, later named Surtsey (see image above). (Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £950. Email for details.
Lava flowing beneath the sea. The zigzag red line is where molten lava is oozing out of a crack before being rapidly chilled by the water. (Oils, from The Fires Within. Original available: £850. Email for details.
Hawaii Fissure Eruption
Gaping cracks and fissures on the southwest rift zone of Kilauea volcano. Lava fountains erupt from some parts of the rift zone. In 1991 Hardy flew over Kilauea in a tiny helicopter, hovering over the crater to watch the bubbling lava below. (Gouache, from The Fires Within.) (SOLD)
Kluchevsko volcano, on the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, is a fine example of a large volcano whose flanks are dotted with parasitic cones. The area is also prolific in steaming vents and thermal geysers. ((Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available. £900. Email for details.
Mount Erebus, Antarctica, is the most recently discovered of the volcanoes that are continuously active today. There are some spectacular formations in its crater due to the steam interacting with the intense cold. (Gouache, from The Fires Within. Private collection of R.M.Hardy.)
In 1453 the volcano of Kuwae, now underwater in the Republic of Vanuatu, expoded violently, expelling 5 times as much matter as even the famous Krakatoa (qv). It affected the atmosphere and climate for up to 3 years, causing spectacular sunsets. It also seems to have played a role in the capture of Constantinople! (Gouache, for Aramco World, 1996) (SOLD)
Though not as large as Kuwae, Krakatoa is by far the most famous eruption, and produced the biggest noises heard by humans, lying between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia and on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. It exploded in May 1883, and a column of ash and vapour rapidly rose to 11,000 metres. (Gouache, from The Fires Within.) (SOLD)
Large earthquakes that occur near or under the ocean can create huge waves called tsunamis. Often only a metre or so high when out at sea they increase in height as they near the shore and can wreak havoc as they reach land, as we have seen in Japan and elsewhere. (Oils, from The Fires Within.) Original available: £750. Email for details.
Diagram of how an earthquake can cause a tsunami. Far out at sea and deep below the earth, rocks slip against each other and create the earthquake; it causes only a slight disturbance to the surface of the ocean, but as it nears land and the shore rises it becomes immense – and unstoppable. (Digital, from The Book of Natural Wonders.)
Diagram showing how 'plate tectonics' works: Subduction. When a thin plate of oceanic crust and a thick continental plate collide, the oceanic plate is drawn under the other and melts, eventually rising to form volcanoes. (Digital, from Children's Atlas of the Universe, Readers Digest.)
Cutaway diagram of a typical volcano, showing the magma chamber far below, tubes leading lava to the surface, and layers of lava and ash. (Digital, from Mountains, Readers Digest Books.)
Uranius & Ceraunius Tholus
Volcanoes are not found only on Earth. Shield volcanoes, like those in Hawaii but usually bigger, are found on Mars and Venus, and the moons Io, Titan, Enceladus and Triton exhibit activity such as volcanoes and geysers. These are the near-twin peaks of Uranius and Ceraunius Tholus, Mars. (Acrylics, from The Fires Within.)
Eruption on Io
Jupiter, seen in half-phase from the surface of its highly volcanic satellite Io. This tiny moon is so active that it is literally continously turning itself inside-out. (Acrylics, from The Fires Within; private collection of Mr P. Downes)
In 1991, as a sequel to his highly-acclaimed Visions of Space, Hardy produced The Fires Within: Volcanoes on Earth & Other Planets, with text by Dr. John Murray.
A number of the paintings (many in oils) may be seen here, and Original Art is available for several of them. It was originally planned to hold an exhibition of these at Birmingham's Science Museum, and a number were framed; but then the excellent Museum was closed and replaced by the Think Tank – largely 'interactive' exhibits for children. . . Which is why these paintings are now available.
These prints make an unusual and attractive subject for the wall, but the diagrammatic ones may also be very useful as posters for educational purposes, eg. schools etc. Other examples and subjects may well be available – too many to include here – so please email AstroArt.
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