Galatea's World

   by Susan Geckle and Susan Geckle & Matthew Geckle for Build A Dream (2014)

The spaceship (“Helios”) was primarily made from cardboard, alongside pieces of the instruction booklet. The antenna is one of the square basswood dowels, painted brown; the emblem on the side is made from a combination of the packing peanuts and plaster cloth wrap. The “boosters” are made from round wooden dowels, cardboard, Van Aken / Plastalina clay, and Styrofoam.

The doll (“Galatea”) was made using the wire spool as a base, alongside the second square basswood dowel for support. The outfit was made using plaster cloth wrap and sewed together using nylon thread. Her face and hands were formed from the packing peanuts; while her hair was made from the pieces of the instruction booklet painted yellow and folded “accordion style”. Next to Galatea is the plastic egg, unmodified.

The astronaut (“Cpt. Styer”) was made from the wooden mannequin. The helmet was made from the aluminum wire, cardboard (from the Mystery Build box), and plastic (from the Plaster Cloth Wrap bag). The backpack was made from cardboard, wire, and the nylon thread spool. Styer’s body was made from the Van Aken clay/Plastalina, and the outfit was made from plaster cloth wrap.

The background consists of the “planet box”, made from the Mystery Build box, with the corners cut open, for a more “open” tone. Besides the planet box are the sea sponge (unmodified) and the “Earman”, which was made by drilling four holes in the Van Gogh ear and attaching the packing peanuts to form arms and legs. The tempered hardboard (which Cpt. Styer is standing on top of) is painted with a design based off of several found in the Voynich Manuscript, a codex of unknown meaning found in 1912. The canvas board (which is next to Galatea) was painted with a design based off of a “crop circle” found in Eastfield in June 2004, which also bears a striking resemblance to an early sketch by Nikola Tesla. The canvas cloth was painted with six designs, most derived from Galileo Galilei’s sketches of the moon found in Sidereus Nuncius.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy promised that a man would land on the moon by the end of the decade. Although he would not live to see it happen, his promise was fulfilled on July 20, 1969; when the crew of Apollo 11 successfully landed on the Moon. Additionally referenced in the project is the eternal human desire to meet extraterrestrial life, which has been ingrained in society and culture for generations. The astronaut, Captain Thomas “Tommy” Styer, is meeting a member of an alien species, Galatea, for the first time. However, inspiration did not end with Neil and Buzz, or extra-terrestrial life. The characters used on the spaceship are derived from ones used in the Rongorongo text, a series of undeciphered texts found on Easter Island. The various floorboards are derived from a symbol found in the Voynich Manuscript, a “crop circle” design, and illustrations by astronomer Galileo Galilei and inventor Nikola Tesla.

Our project was built over the span of approximately three months. Building commenced on July 20, 2014 (the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings – more on that in the next paragraph) and concluded on September 18, 2014.

The music used is "Spiritual Pajamas" by Tipsy da Vinci.