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Indian artist, Sonal Relekar-Ramnath's 'Sisterhood' heads for the Moon

Artwork to be part The Peregrine Collection

Indian artist, Sonal Relekar-Ramnath's 'Sisterhood' heads for the Moon

The painting headed to the moon as part of The Peregrine Collection

New Delhi, April 5

Indian artist Sonal Relekar-Ramnath is over the moon as is the country as her painting "Sisterhood" is headed to the moon as part of The Peregrine Collection!

A first for an Indian artist, her artwork will be part of an assembly of creative works by 1200 creative artists and one A.I. These will be carried in a time capsule aboard the Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander scheduled to be sent to the Moon this year.

Obviously on top of the world, Relekar-Ramnath says: "When I started painting 'Sisterhood', I never imagined that it would go to the moon, literally. I find this whole experience nothing short of a miracle." The artist holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, and is based out of Mumbai.

Last year 'Sisterhood' was exhibited as a part of an International Exhibition 'Storytellers', curated by Elaine Schmidt and Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with US-based Poets and Artists collective headed by Didi Menendez. Poets and Artists published this catalogue on 'Storytellers', which is now headed to the Moon.


The Peregrine Collection

The Peregrine Collection is among the most diverse collections of contemporary cultural work assembled for launch into space, and is believed to be the first-ever project to place the work of women artists on the Moon. The assembly of thousands of creative works has over 1200 creative artists and one A.I., all of which is headed for the Moon.

The project, the Artists on the Moon (AOTM) is coordinated by Dr. Samuel Peralta, and is joining National Aeronautics and Space Administration's scientific payloads on Astrobotic's Peregrine Mission One -- the first commercial launch in history -- on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket to Lacus Mortis on the lunar surface.

The centrepieces of Peralta's payload are the 21 volumes of his own Future Chronicles anthologies, all Amazon bestsellers, and 15 PoetsArtists art magazines and exhibition catalogues, one of which he helmed as guest curator for publisher and art curator Didi Menendez. Each individual volume provided scores of curated contemporary art and short stories for the time capsule.

Together with other art books, anthologies, novels, music, and screenplays, including for the short film Real Artists, which won an Emmy Award in 2019, he and his colleagues have digitized literally thousands of art and fiction for the trip to the Moon.

Peralta, a physicist and entrepreneur, is also an author, whose fiction has hit the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists, and whose poetry has won awards worldwide.

Talking about the collection he observes: "Our hope is that future travellers who find this capsule will discover some of the richness of our world today. It speaks to the idea that, despite wars and pandemic and climate upheaval, humankind found time to dream, time to create art." The Collection represents creative artists from all over the globe, including from Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Australia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and the Philippines. Included in it is a collaborative human-AI work of poetry between Peralta and OSUN, an OpenAI-based machine programmed by Sri Lankan author and researcher Yudhanjaya Wijeratne.

The digitized artwork and literature files are contained in two microSD cards, encapsulated in DHL MoonBox capsules. Delivery is by Astrobotic's Peregrine Lunar Lander, through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. The launch is scheduled in July 2021 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the lander will touch down in the Lacus Mortis region of the Moon, marking Earth's return, and the first mission carrying commercial payloads, to the lunar surface.

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