A volunteer’s thoughts: Exploration, Art and Mars

Hey everyone! My name is Albert, I am a Visitor Assistant here at Royal Museums Greenwich and an Explorer Volunteer for the Travellers’ tails project and if that wasn’t enough I’m also finishing a MA in Management of Archaeological Sites at the UCL.

As you can see from the previous posts from my colleagues and guest bloggers, the museum has had the opportunity to investigate the role that artists and scientists played during the age of exploration.

I had never realised before, that painting and exploration could go so well hand in hand. To explore the recording, unravelling and passing of knowledge that happened during Captain’s Cook voyages with the original artefacts and paintings in front of my eyes has been really exciting … but well, as a trained archaeologist even stones excite me!

As an eager adventurer that always keeps a map and GPS in his pocket for emergencies, it is fascinating to see how technology has evolved from the Harrison Sea Clocks to satellites and GPS.  It is even more fascinating to realise that we have not only mapped most of the surface of our neighbouring planet Mars, but that we have even sent three Mars Exploration Rovers to the planet, resulting in some breath-taking pictures that had been shared worldwide via internet. I can’t help but think of the Royal Academy and William Hodges when he exposed his paintings of his voyage with Captain Cook in 1776.

View of the Islands of Otaha and Bola Bola

View of the Islands of Otaha and Bola Bola

West Rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

West Rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

If you, like William Hodges or the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, are an eager artist and have a keen interest in photography, don’t miss the Astronomy Photographer of the Year at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich. The exhibition will be on until July 2015, and they have just opened the entries for the 2015 competition.

In the last few months we have had many visitors, explorers and artists visit the Queen’s House and were kind enough to let us pick at their brains on the exhibition, Captain Cook and their own personal adventures around the world. If you have ever had a journey that turned into a little or big adventure, or that helped you discover and explore new experiences and places, as always, you are more than welcome to share it here with us.

Blogpost by Albert Llanas, Explorer Volunteer.

 

We will be recruiting for further Explorer Volunteers to join the team at Royal Museums Greenwich soon – keep an eye on the website for details.