8 December 2011

Leonid Tishkov's Private Moon is a series of photographs about a man who met the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life. In the attic of his own house, he saw the moon falling down from the sky. Once she was hiding from the Sun in a dark and damp tunnel, but the passing trains frightened her. So she came to the man's house and he wrapped her with warm blankets and treated her with apples, and gave her a cup of tea. When she got well, he was able to leave the house with his personal Moon and Tishkov's photos continue the story. Each one of Tishkov's photographs tells a story in its own right and he has accompanied them with a verse of a poem which he writes when planning each scene.

Tishkov says that he was influenced by writer G.K. Chesterton who said that there couldn't be a personal faith as there couldn't be a personal Sun or a personal Moon. He also says in his native Russia, life is lonely but that this loneliness reminds us that we exist, we are here, we are at the centre of the universe and we are comparable to the Moon. Wherever we are in the world and whoever we are, we are able to see the Moon, making it an entity that unites people, overcoming the loneliness that Tishkov speaks about.

The fact that Tishkov is from Russia, rich in space history is also important in Republic of the Moon. It was not NASA who was last on the moon, it was in fact the Soviet Union with their Luna 24 mission in 1976. The Luna Programme was a series of robotic spacecraft sent to explore the Moon's chemical composition and scientfic trates  and to bring samples back to Earth.

Leonid writes his own Private Moon blog which he regulary updates with text and absolutely fantastic imagery about his travels with his moon. There's also imagery about his scluptural work including original sketches.

Private Moon will be exhibitied at FACT as part of the Republic of the Moon exhibition which is at FACT from the 16 December until the 26 February. Entry is free to the galleries and they are open 12 - 6pm Sunday - Friday and 11am - 6pm on Saturday.