Mariner 9

10 May - 07 Sep 14

Mariner 9, 2012 (detail). Image courtesy of the artist and Birch Libralato

Mariner 9, 2012 (detail). Image courtesy of the artist and Birch Libralato

Tyneside Cinema and the Laing Art Gallery present Mariner 9, a giant panoramic vision of the planet Mars set 200 years in the future, by Canadian artist Kelly Richardson.

Mariner 9 is returning to the North East after an international tour to exhibition venues including the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (Canada), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (USA) and Natural History Museum Vienna (Austria). 

Commissioned by Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema, the piece will go on show at the Laing Art Gallery from 10 May 2014. It premiered in 2012 at Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Dome where it attracted more than 10,000 people. 

Created using NASA's own data, Mariner 9 shows Mars and is set 200 years in the future. The planet's landscape is littered with the rusting remains of real and imagined spacecraft with some of them still showing signs of life - flickering, moving and transmitting data back to Earth where possibly there is no one left to receive it.

The artist worked with imagery and technical data from NASA, combining it with Terragen, a complex scenery generation software used by the film and gaming industries, to create an uber-realistic red planet, minutely replicating its distinctive geology and weather patterns.

Uniquely at the Laing Art Gallery, visitors will have the chance to see Mariner 9 alongside dramatic paintings by John Martin, a key influence on Kelly’s work, and traditional landscapes by JMW Turner and John Constable in ‘Turner & Constable: Sketching From Nature’ which is on show until 29 June 2014. 

Mariner 9 was commissioned by Tyneside Cinema and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery is supported by ArtAV and the Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice at Newcastle University. 

For more information, photos and a video interview with artist Kelly Richardson, please visit Tyneside Cinema’s Mariner 9 webpage.