42” x 91”, 2019
Ontario Science Center, Toronto, Canada
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program on July 20, 2019 Ekaterina Smirnova created this miniature landscape to symbolize the timeless relationship that humans developed with our close satellite - the Moon. Adoring the Moon since the beginning of time we carried a crazy dream of visiting it one day, which finally happened half a century ago via the Apollo mission. A simple lunar landscape inspired the artist to make a rock garden.
The Moon has never carried liquid water. Yet the names of geographical lunar features are filled with oceans and seas. In the imaginary rock garden of the lunar surface Ekaterina offers patterns to represent water. You can find straight strokes of floating water and circular patterns that represent both resonating waves and craters on the Moon. The sand used in this installation is an anorthositic Lunar regolith simulant ChEnOB1, developed by scientists to be identical to the material found on the Moon.
The installation is inspired by Japanese rock gardens. Following the rules of this high art, this garden is intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and to serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of life.
Imagine yourself sitting alone in the most tranquil place on the Moon, Mare Tranquillitatis, the landing site of Apollo 11. Observe this rock garden. Watch the stones, sitting among you motionless for millions of years, only the strokes of imaginary water slowly move around them, and you. Think of life and its true meaning. Perhaps in the lunar surrounding where life is absolutely impossible due to the lack of liquid water, organic matter and life supporting conditions, you will come to the answer of the true meaning of life.