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Vostok 5

SIMONE SCOTT WARREN:  On the November 3rd 1957, Russia's Sputnik 2, a shuttle the size of a small washing machine, launched into space with a solitary passenger. Her name was Kudryavka, although she became known as Laika, she had been plucked from the streets of Moscow, and catapulted into space.  She was facing a certain death.  Originally reported to have lived for around a week and having died painlessly in orbit, in truth she survived only a few hours after take off, overcome by fear and heat.  Laika was the first dog to orbit the earth.  In much the same way as the human astronauts they preceded, popular culture remembers very few of the names of those intrepid canine explorers.  But Darren Hayman knows each of them and has created 27 artworks, depicting all of those dogs Russia sent into space.

Space travel is a familiar subject to the ex-Hefner frontman, who has previously written tracks such Alan Bean and a feature on music in space.  And he's not the only musician who’s interest in the subject has led them to create depictions of these events. Paul Rains (Allo' Darlin'/Hexicon), Sarah Lippett (Fever Dream), Duncan Barrett (Tigercats) and Robert Rotifer (Rotifer) have joined Hayman under the moniker of Vostok 5, and also made artworks and recordings for a new project.  An exhibition of the resulting sculptures, paintings and drawings will go on display at The Outside World Gallery, Shoreditch, in September.

FURTHER INFO: Vostok 5's exhibition, 'Art and Music about People And Animals in Space' runs from the 1st to the 8th September 2011 at the Outside World Gallery, 44 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch. Vostok 5 have also recorded a cd as a companion to the exhibition, limited to just 500 copies, each resplendent with a hand printed sleeve.  Two live dates are scheduled, the first, an acoustic offering in the gallery itself, on Saturday 3rd September, and the second, a fundraising event for the exhibition, with each of the members of Vostok 5 playing with their respective bands, at the Wilmington Arms, Clerkenwell, on the 21st September.  Further information about the Vostok 5 project can be found on their blog: vostok5.tumblr.com/. />

IMAGE CAPTION:  Strelka (Little Arrow). My fascination with Russian Space Dogs started with Belka and Strelka. They are the first earth born creatures to travel into space and return alive and as such I can’t understand why they aren’t more famous.  

IMAGE COURTESY OF DARREN HAYMAN

 

  

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