Alex Storer is a professional graphic designer and as well as an artist he is also the honorary musician for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies.
With a life-long passion for immersing himself in science fiction, Alex Storer became captivated by the visionary space art of the 1970s and 80s with its powerful images of travel to other planets and times. He uses his talent to develop those themes into ever more fascinating and evocative pictures of the cosmos. As a professional graphic designer with a background in fine art and traditional hand-rendered illustration, Alex uses initial sketches to produce work through Photoshop, usually in layers for flexibility of composition, though he may occasionally treat some pieces like real canvas. His style and technique are immediately identifiable. Dramatic scenes of other worlds, views of interplanetary and interstellar spaceflight which may yet come to fruition, and haunting visions that seem to come from the deeper recesses of the mind all have a strong emotive impact and remain in the memory. Also a musician, Alex has been composing and producing electronic music under the name of The Light Dreams in 2006. His inspirations lie with some of the great musicians of the recent past, in particular Jean-Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield. His evocations of travel through the cosmos fully justified Alex’s appointment as honorary musician for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies in 2012, and he has produced several albums in association with I4IS, with more on the way.
Personal website: www.thelightdream.net
=== Alex Storer Gallery ===
A vast spaceship stands out against the infinity of the interstellar void. It has the distinctive design of an Enzmann starship, the huge front globe holding the deuterium propellant that powers its nuclear fusion drive, with living quarters extending behind. Many lighted windows show that it is crewed, and several generations may live and die on board before it reaches its destination. The engines of this spectacular craft achieve speeds to a significant percentage of the speed of light, but they are now silent. We think that it might have already achieved its cruising velocity, except for the existence of a smaller spacecraft which is approaching under power – such a hazardous transfer is unlikely during the voyage. No, this starship is stationary, probably before the start of its journey. Perhaps the final members of the crew are arriving before their epic voyage begins, anticipating the challenge of what awaits them – and their descendants.
A red giant star dominates a planet’s sky, and a city spreads out before us in its unearthly light. We ask ourselves whether the city is in its dying days as a result of an expanding sun – perhaps the remnants of a civilization are surviving in its domed structures. Obviously whoever lives there needs the domes as well as the buildings; perhaps the atmosphere has perhaps recently become toxic. Are we witnessing the last stages of a once-great society? Or could this be the civilization’s normal existence and its inhabitants have learned to survive in what simply looks to us like a hostile environment? It may be thriving within the structures that we see – it might merely be an image of the time of day when little is going on, as the city wakes.
History is replete with examples of the rise and fall of empires. Great civilizations that have flourished during their moment in the sun, but then declined, leaving only the decaying remains of their buildings and artefacts. A lone human approaches the remains of a vast structure from a bygone age. The ancient ruin is shrouded with the vegetation and decay that comes from long neglect. From his appearance we see that his is a primitive society where the technology that created this artefact has long disappeared. But a more disturbing thought occurs to us. Possibly this is the distant future of our own Earth. Through some catastrophe at which we can only guess, the human race has degenerated into a prehistoric state, and can now only stare with astonishment at what once was, little understanding what it may have represented, or might yet have been.
The World Outside
A beautiful girl looks through a window at an alien terrain, and holds her hand against the window. The gesture may suggest a wish to be outside and to appreciate this world to the full. But what is on the other side may be hostile – the sky is thick with oppressive clouds, and there is no trace of life on the surface. A waterfall cascades from what must be a plateau, where perhaps the planet offers entirely different, and less stark, surroundings – is that what she seeks? But if we look closely, we see rents in her left sleeve. Has she just returned to this realm of safety from a dangerous trip outside? Maybe it is the Sun of this world that she salutes, as it sets beyond the distant jagged mountains, and she yearns for the familiar world of her home that it represents. Or does she fear what the night will bring?
The vast background of a planetary surface dominates this image of another world. Its reddish hue suggests that we are looking at the planet Mars. A space station stands out starkly against this forbidding scene, orbiting the Red Planet as a different form of shelter for people from our own world. Lighted windows show that it is inhabited, and its circular structure indicates that its rotation may be designed to provide the equivalent of gravity for long-term occupation. But we see no activity around the station. It is almost as though its inhabitants are waiting for something to happen. They may be mere observers of the Martian surface, but surely automatic satellites could achieve that function more easily. No, they are here for some other purpose. They may be awaiting the time when they can travel down to the planet – we may be witnessing the first stage of the colonization of Mars.
A huge spacecraft hovers above a landing site. It is bulky and seems cumbersome – its complex construction shows us that this is a transport vessel, designed to move large quantities of freight, or possibly people, between the planets and the stars. It may be arriving, or possibly leaving – we cannot be sure, but the large number of people waiting at this terminal implies that they are anticipating its arrival, and what it brings. Torrential rain and grim clouds tell us that the weather system on this planet is not attractive for humans like ourselves. It may the norm on this world, or perhaps it represents a rapid deterioration in what was once a pleasant and idyllic land, and many are trying to escape it while they can. Now they eagerly await their chance of rescue from an impending catastrophe. Yet a lone figure watches the scene from a balcony. He is not part of this mass reaction to events, but calmly observes the flow of humanity. Does he know something they don’t? Or maybe he has simply accepted that life on this world is more acceptable than the alternative that may be found elsewhere.