Paintings by Ian Cion
January – March 2021
We welcome Berkeley-based artist Ian Cion and his series of paintings, Earthsuits. After working with NASA to develop a series of spacesuits, Ian became interested in the idea of functional, protective clothing. Designed to mitigate environmental and cultural dangers while providing mobility and climate control, Earthsuits explore our possible adaptations to a more precarious existence on earth.
Step into the earthsuit series, and try it on for size. Ask yourself, what would my suit look like? Who would I be in my earthsuit?
click on images to enlarge
In 2015 while serving as the founding director of the Arts in Medicine Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ian Cion began working on a series of space suits in collaboration with NASA, ILC Dover, who have made spacesuits for NASA since the Apollo era, and the astronaut Nicole Stott. Cion and Stott traveled to hospitals around the world, setting up art studios for patients, families, and staff. Artwork made in these hospital sessions were collected and arranged by Cion then sewn together by ILC Dover. Several of these colorful spacesuits were flown on Space X rockets to the International Space Station and worn by astronauts on board. While in the suits, the astronauts live-streamed down to the patients and families that worked on the project, many of whom gathered at Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston or watched from hospitals around the world as their artwork orbited 250 miles above the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour. This project led Cion into a further collaboration with ILC Dover, where he consulted on the design of several new space suits in development for both NASA and private space companies.
Ian Cion currently lives and works in Berkeley, California.
For more information please visit thunderbirdastronautics.com