The existential imaginings of my eight-year-old self

I remember visions of the future from my childhood. Books filled with stories of impossible cities. Films indicating that flying cars would soon be an everyday reality.

Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan, The galaxy 1957–58. Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Patrick White 1974. © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Tales of space adventures in galaxies far, far away…

George Gittoes

George Gittoes, The capsule from The Hotel Kennedy suite 1971 (printed 1990). Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 1990. © George Gittoes. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Where anonymous figures in cumbersome space suits

Catherine Rogers

Catherine Rogers, Maybe the moon #2 from the project Details from the world, or, a very short history of photographic imagery 1991 (printed 2016). Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors’ Program 2016. © Catherine Rogers

traversed unfamiliar lunar landscapes

David Stephenson

David Stephenson, Stars #903 1995. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales Contempo Group 1997. © David Stephenson

and went on exploratory missions beyond the stars.

Frank Hinder

Frank Hinder, Space lab 1967. Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Margel Hinder 1994. © Estate of Frank Hinder

Human colonies were built on distant planets. (Because colonisation always works out so well.)

Eduardo Paolozzi

Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, 21b. Will alien powers invade the earth? from the portfolio Bunk 1972. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 2002. © Sir Eduardo Paolozzi/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Extra-terrestrial beings travelled across the vast emptiness of space to invade the earth. (This always seemed highly unlikely.)

Gulumbu Yunupinu

Gulumbu Yunupingu, Garak, The Universe 2009. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors’ Group 2010. © Gulumbu Yunupingu, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala

Looking up at the night sky, I would try to imagine the depth of the universe and what else might be out there.

Alain Jacquet

Alain Jacquet, Survival of the planet 1974. Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Douglas Kagi 2018. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. © Alain Jacquet/ADAGP. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Wondering how it all came to be, where humans belonged in the picture, and why?