2019 news

NightVisions VII 

More than two-thirds of Americans live where they can no longer see the Milky Way galaxy because of light pollution.

We have grown so isolated from the night that in much of our culture it has become alien and fearful.

 NightVisions seeks to re-open our positive connections to the natural night and to bridge the divide separating artistic from scientific perception, promoting the idea that science and art are two intertwined aspects of human experience.

 

In other words, NightVisions is an art exhibition that celebrates the beauty of the night sky.

The exhibition is hosted at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff was designated as the world’s first International Dark Skies City, enacting limitations on light pollution to preserve the community’s exquisite view of the night sky, and leading a worldwide movement.

 

Showing for the seventh time, this international, juried, biennial exhibition features artwork in various media; 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, poetry, photography, video, installation, etc.

This year I am one of over 50 artists, exhibiting two large paintings

 

NightVisions VII will open Friday, April 12, 2019,  The exhibition will be open to the public from April 13 through June 1, 2019. The exhibition is produced by the Flagstaff Arts Council in partnership with the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition.

 

Here are my two paintings for this show.

 

 

 


Caer Ibormeith the shapeshifting Swan maiden in the Cygnus Constellation

 

From the mythical race from the stars came the shapeshifting girl turning into the Swan laying the cosmic egg.   

Cygnus is a northern constellation of the Milky Way,  known as the Northern Cross.

Cygnus Bird myths fly through the world cultures, etched into stone temples and caves, 

 Of great importance to the Babylonians, Sumerians, Egyptians as well as the cultures of Europe, India, China, and the Americas. 

17,000 years ago Deneb, the brightest star of Cygnus, was the pole star.

Myths held that Cygnus was the doorway to the Sky People, in the pyramid texts it was the boat pulled by a celestial bird through the Milky Way to a new life, and the Goddess of wisdom and the arts Sarasvati's swan mount. 

 In the 2nd century CE Cygnus was named, cataloged and depicted as the crooked necked swan by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, did Ptolemy know there was a black hole, in the crook of that crooked neck?  

Just in 2011, Cygnus X-1 was determined to be a black hole with a visible star orbiting around it.

 

The ancients believed that the Cygnus was where the cosmic egg resided.

 Did they know that gamma rays were pointed directly at the earth?

In the 70s scientists, including Carl Sagan, discovered cosmic rays alter human DNA, and spark leaps in human evolution. In the center of Cygnus is Cyg. X-3,  a source of a powerful burst of cosmic rays directed directly toward earth.

 

Many and varied are the mysterious myths of Cygnus.

 

In this Painting, I am drawn to the link between Cygnus and the megalithic passage-mound of Newgrange, and the mythic romance of  Caer Ibormeith the shapeshifting Swan maiden.

Oengus a chieftain residing at Newgrange fell in love with Caer Ibormeith, a Tuatha Dé Danann, Swan maiden, who visited him in dreams. After great adventures, Oengus on the magic night of Samhain, finds Caer in the shape of the beautiful white swan, as they embraced he too became a swan, and they fly away together singing a mystical song that all who hear enter the dream time.

 

"Youth Of 1,000 Summers" by Van Morrison 

He's the youth of a thousand summers

Like a sweet bird of youth

In my soul. 

And he looks so radiant

And he shines like the sun

And he lights up the world

Like a sweet bird of youth

He's the king of the mountain

And the clear crystal fountain

He's the saint of the river

He's the ancient of days

And he makes you go skipping

And he makes you go dancing

And he gets you in rhythm

And he moves you in song

He's the youth of a thousand summers

 


 Simhamukha Tara in the cosmic cloud the Dark Tower in the constellation of Scorpius

 

In silhouette against a crowded star field toward the center of the milky way in the constellation of Scorpius, is the dusty cosmic cloud named the dark tower a structure that spans almost 40 light-years across located some 5,000 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Scorpius.

Silhouetted against a crowded star field, the Dark Tower is known as a cometary globule

 

When I first came across this dark cloud it had no name and evoke in me the powerful image of Simhamukha Tara the Queen of the Dakinis.

She represents the transformation of anger or wrath into enlightened awareness, averting or repulsing of negative energy and sending it back to its source. Protecting from negative provocations of mankind’s destruction of the natural environment resulting in plagues,  earthquakes, madness, wars, and other calamities.  

She is a manifestation of the enlightened awareness and her nature is compassion, she slays the dragon representing the forces of evil and chaos. She only shows her fierce and angry face in order to subdue misguided beings.