CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Sussex artist Brenda Barratt sends her painting into space

PUBLISHED: 08:31 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:47 28 February 2013

Sussex artist Brenda Barratt is looking forward to the safe return of her painting after it has been taken into space by Sussex-born astronaut Piers Sellers.

Sussex astronaut Piers Sellers is taking an originalwatercolour portrait painted by Buxted artist Brenda Barratt into outer space aboard the Space Shuttle in May this year.

Crowborough-born NASA astronaut Piers was a pupil at Cranbrook School in Kent and Brenda was recently asked by Angela Daly, the schools head teacher to paint a watercolour of the school. The painting will then be returned to Cranbrook School with the official NASA verification that it has travelled into space.

I never thought a painting I had created in my Buxted studio would ever be blasted into space. I regard it as a great honour, said Brenda.

Most of my work involves architecture Ive painted well over 500 house portraits over the years. Ive also painted dozens of schools and colleges too.

Head teacher, Mrs Daly said: I was delighted when Piers suggested he took the painting with him into space. This makes the painting quite unique. On his last trip he took a copy of the Schools Elizabethan Charter.

Brenda has been painting all her life and comes from an artistic family. Her father, Chris Rooke was commissioned to paint watercolours of important buildings thought likely not to survive World War II.
His painting, among many other well-known artists, are in the custody of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

My upbringing was totally unconventional thanks to my eccentric father who once painted black lines down the back of my mothers bare legs after she abandoned the badly-laddered nylon stockings she had bought for an important occasion, said Brenda.

As a child I used to sit next to my fatherwatching him paint and then I would be allowed to carefully add snow flakes, or birds in flight. Sometimes I would get carried away, but dad never seemed to mind!

"So it was a natural progression that I would paint and after the great hurricane I was so upset to see the devastation caused at Buxted Park, that I sat down and painted a watercolour of the park before the storm.

From then on my affection for watercolour painting has flourished. I started by painting house portraits, something I still very much enjoy, and went on to paint larger buildings public schools and colleges.

Brendas work developed to the point where heads began to commission her to capture the essence of their own schools and colleges and to make limited edition prints available to the parents and pupils and donate the original to the school.

She does house portraits after an initial personal visit often made under great secrecy so as not to divulge anything to her clients intended recipient! Her paintings now hang in every continent of the world.

She has just started a website where you can see more of her pictures.

More about Piers Sellers

Born in Crowborough, in 1955, Piers was educated at Cranbrook School, Kent where he began his RAF pilot's training. He completed his education by gaining a BSc at Edinburgh and aPhDat Leeds in 1981.

A year later, Piers and his wife moved to the USA to commence his NASA career as a research meteorologist. But he maintained his aircraft piloting skills and was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1996. His first space flight came in October 2002 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

In total, Piers has logged over 559 hours in space on two missions, including six space-walks of 41 hours duration.

In 2005, Piers opened Cranbrook School's observatory, which is named after him. He also took a copy of the school charter into space with him on his 2006 NASA mission (STS-121).

Piersis assigned to the crew of STS-132 which is targeted for launch in May 2010. This 11 day flight, the Space Shuttles 132nd, will deliver a Russian-built Mini Research Moduleto the International Space Station.

There will then be only two more Space Shuttle launches before NASA retires the Shuttle fleets forever.


More from Out & About

Fri, 11:54

With views, cosy pubs, endless walks and lively towns and cities, Sussex is the only place to be during the holiday season

Read more
Tue, 11:47

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Sussex

Read more
Tue, 11:46

Enjoy the tranquility of Verdley Wood on this circular pub walk

Read more
Tue, 11:24

Ideally situated for commuting to London and Brighton, this West Sussex town offers the perfect blend of rural and urban living

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Clive Agran’s monthly investigation of Sussex’s hidden past turns homeward as he visits Bodiam, Northiam and Ewhurst Green

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Sheffield Park and Garden near Haywards Heath is a paradise for photographers. Especially during the autumn months…

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

The skies of Sussex are sure to be lit up this November with some amazing fireworks and bonfire events taking place across the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

With the South Downs, quaint villages and coastal trails, Sussex is a great place for a walk. Here we round up some of the best

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

From pumpkins to spooky activities, we take a quick look at some events on offer across Sussex this Halloween

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Disappear into the ancient oak woodland at Arlington on this short circular stroll

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

A rich local history, thriving annual festivals and a bounty of amenities make this East Sussex town hard to top

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Cuckfield’s Ockenden Manor offers a spectacular panorama while you eat

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

We explore Pulborough, a village with a long history and an unusual annual fundraiser

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Property Search