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Andy Thomas
, 2002

by Montalbetti+Campbell

inkjet print (frame: 142.7 cm x 112.6 cm, sight: 138.5 cm x 108.2 cm)

Andy Thomas AO (b. 1951), astronaut, was born and educated in Adelaide and joined NASA in 1992 having managed a number of aeronautical projects. He made his first space flight in 1996 and in 1998 boarded the Endeavour space shuttle to work at the Mir space station. In 2001 he became the first Australian citizen to perform a space walk, riding the shuttle Discovery to affix components to the outside of the International Space Station. In 2005 he flew on the STS114 Discovery mission, undertaking new methods to inspect the orbiter in flight and to verify its fitness for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. In all, he has spent over 177 days in space, and counts the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Yuri Gagarin Medal among his many honours.

Canadian-born Denis Montalbetti and Gay Campbell have created striking, often elaborately staged photographs for publications such as Inside Sport and HQ. They researched Thomas’s career and his appearance before conceiving this highly-coloured heroic image, in which the sitter is posed against a background representing the earth viewed from space.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2002
Accession number: 2002.32

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