Space Artist Discovers Message Hidden in the Keyhole Nebula

Space artist and amateur astronomer Tim Malles sees images of faces, figures and creatures hidden inside Hubble Space Telescope photographs of the Keyhole and Carina Nebulae.  He has found so many recognizable features that an ongoing art project, The Keyhole Project, has been created around them.  "Its like finding faces in the clouds, only space clouds are much larger and more complex," remarks the artist.  Malles turns his trained eyes to closely examining the images of stars, swirling gas and dust and creates paintings that reveal his unique vision and interpretation of what he sees there.  "It does feel like I'm peering through a keyhole, perhaps finding a hidden message or unlocking a secret.  There seem to be too many recognizable features in one area.  Some are beautiful and others are haunting.  It's heavenly and hellish all at once and an awesome surprise to find faces in random cosmic violence."

From the Constellations to the man in the Moon, the Zodiac to the face on Mars, it has always been man's conceit to place himself among the stars.  The Keyhole Project targets man's lofty and unending attempt to anthropomorphize the heavens.  From straining to see through a narrow opening to unlocking and opening the door wide, the project explores our primitive and psychological need to make a human connection to the abstract and particularly with what we do not understand.  Not only do we instinctively attempt to find a human context there, we search for the highest possible meanings - religious and spiritual themes.  "Like peering into a crystal ball or cosmic reflecting pool, you will always see something of yourself reflected back to you."  The Keyhole Project crosses the intersection of science and religion, inner and outer spaces, and offers the connection through visionary art.

-Trixie O'Sullivan, Guest Blogger

The constellation Pictor, the Painter, is found just below the Carina Nebula in southern skies

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