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Spacewalk 32 (Aurora) (2017)

David Om

25 x 25 cm | 9 x 9 in

Subject: Nature

Original painting in oil on canvas.

"The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. The electrons are energized through acceleration processes in the downwind tail (night side) of the magnetosphere and at lower altitudes along auroral field lines. The accelerated electrons follow the magnetic field of Earth down to the Polar Regions where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms and molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere. In these collisions, the electrons transfer their energy to the atmosphere thus exciting the atoms and molecules to higher energy states. When they relax back down to lower energy states, they release their energy in the form of light. This is similar to how a neon light works. The aurora typically forms 80 to 500 km above Earth’s surface."


David Om

See inside the studio
Selected for for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2017,
 John Moores Painting Prize 14, Lynn Painter-Stainers 15. Pre-selected for; Royal Society of British Artists 15, BP Portrait Award 15.

David OMs skyscapes and telescopes communicate a huge sense of scale. Observatories ogle upwards like giant eyeballs, and miniature figurines gaze outwards through trompe d'oiel windows - created by the frame that stretches the canvas. Showing us the back of the canvas in this way suggests that the image lies somewhere in the infinite yonder.

There is a sense of dignified Zen-like detachment to much of David OM's work, many of his compositions function through minimalism and juxtaposition clarified through studious and critical practice. At the core of his work oscillates a pure sense of wonder alternating with a cold nihilism. His art often interacts with space science and astronomy whilst incorporating a metaphysical subtext that enables subject matter to assume new (often existential) symbolic meanings.

Astrophysics and figurine art are both subjects that capture the public imagination at present. Brian Cox meets London street artist Slinkachu with these playful reflections on the universe.

More original works by David Om