Frank Hartley spent his Melbourne, Australia, childhood observing nature and tinkering with machines and devices to see how things worked. The son of professional parents, an amateur artist father, and one of three brothers and a sister. He earned his degrees in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Subsequently, from a growing interest in cybernetics and automation, he earned a Masters Degree in Control Engineering at Cambridge University (UK).
With these complementary disciplines under his belt, Hartley embarked on a remarkable career of invention in — the real-time computer-control of traffic, aircraft and emergency services — and automated medical, industrial, aviation and military systems. Two decades later, Hartley immigrated to the United States, where he entered the aeronautics and space industry to address robotic spacecraft and developed instruments, machines and next generation of space telescopes that found their way to planets, outer space, and near space.
For an inquisitive mind like Hartley’s, space and the planets offer a seductive frontier. In a culture conducive to his probing — through NASA — and observing the best ‘time machines’ that science has created to date, Hartley forges onward through his art in his quest to understand the origins of the cosmos and of life itself.
Frank Hartley's Art
With world-renowned artist Tommaso Durante, Hartley co-produced a commissioned art book titled Chaos and Cosmos, where art and science meld, through interaction and conflict, the order of beauty and the perfection of symmetries.
Through further study and his own explorations in oil on canvas, Hartley has applied his artistic bent to interpreting images from our orbiting “time machines,” deep-space telescopes. His portfolio of cosmic art interprets an inspirational, gigantic, magnificent universe, seemingly floating benignly in space belying the tumultuous alchemy of matter. Hartley then takes his original paintings and creates variations by applying secondary techniques and treatments in a variety of other media.