Cara McCaughey

Cara is an artist who works with textiles, screenprinting, and traditional hand-drawn illustration techniques.

For “7 Wonders”, Conclave’s 7th Group show, Cara presents five new works from her series depicting animals that have taken place in Space Programmes: some survived, many did not – this is her visual celebration, memorial, honouring and immortalisation of the often-forgotten participants in humans’ race for space.

Read more about these animal’s stories below….

Laika
Probably the most famous space animal, Laika was the first animal to reach orbit and was sent into space by the Soviet Union on 3 November 1957. She died due to stress and overheating on the flight. Laika was never going to reach earth again, as – even if she survived her flight – technology for a safe return had still not been developed.

Able and Baker
The first primates to survive a space flight were these monkeys, sent up by the United States on 28 May 1959. Able died 4 days after returning due to an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Baker lived on until 29 November 1984.

Belka and Strelka
These were the first dogs to return safely from orbit on 19 August 1960. They were sent by the Soviet Union along with a rabbit, 40 mice, 2 rats, 15 flasks of fruit flies and some plants. This work pictures them on their triumphant return. They were widely celebrated in the press all over the world. Strelka went on to have pups, one of which was gifted to JFK’s daughter, Caroline, by Nikita Khrushchev.

Marfusha,  Otvazhnaya and Snezhinka.
Marfusha was the first rabbit to be sent to space on 2 July 1959. She was sent by the Soviet Union along with two dogs: Otvazhnaya and Snezhinka (“Brave” and “Snowflake”). All three animals returned in good health. A special Romanian stamp was issued in their honour in 1959.

Tsygan and Dezik
These two dogs from the Soviet Union were the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight and live. On 22 July 1951, they reached an altitude of 101km, technically reaching space. Both survived this flight, however, one week later Dezik died on another flight with a dog called Lisa. Tsygan was adopted by the physicist Anatoli Blagonravov.

Interested in buying one of these works and have a question? Email us with any queries, or call us on 01273 729729 (during opening hours).