'SpaceX’s Falcon 9 over Leith in Lockdown was made during the depths of the first COVID lockdown in May 2020, at a time when the entire world appeared to be housebound and venturing to the shop felt like a risky undertaking. In an ethereal contradiction to this painful and monotonous reality we all faced, on May 30th, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was due to pass over Edinburgh, transporting two astronauts to the international space station orbiting the Earth. The launch took place in Cape Canaveral in Florida, with the rocket due to be visible in the skies of Edinburgh 15-20 minutes after its launch. Large groups of skywatchers broke their one hour exercise limit and gathered on top of Edinburgh’s dormant volcano Arthur’s Seat to catch a glimpse of the rare sight, along with those lucky enough to have west facing windows.
Due to the bright Scottish spring evenings I wasn’t able to spot the Falcon 9, I don’t think anyone did. However, I like to think of this happening (or in reality, a non-happening) as inspiring collective feelings of hope and the sublime, escapism at its finest from the confines of Leith in Lockdown. Despite the disappointment of not actually seeing the rocket, the strong sense of hope for the future I was left with prompted me to reimagine the event as something that actually manifested, imagining how it would have looked and felt. Solidifying this event as a mental turning point that everything was going to be alright.'
Thomas Adam is a Scottish artist and MA Royal College of Art graduate (Print 2018) currently practicing in Edinburgh. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Chemtrails Over Camberwell’ at Arusha Gallery, March, 2022, London. Previous exhibitions include ‘Safari of Sorts’ Ltd Ink Corporation, June 2021, Glasgow, and ‘Lightning Without Thunder’ Solo Exhibition, Arusha Gallery, 2019, Edinburgh. Adam was recently awarded the J and W Gordon Smith Prize for painting in November 2021.