A jewel of celestial light.
Inspired by a hand colored map of the moon created by the German cartographer Johann Georg Justus Perthes and published for Stieler’s Atlas of 1880.
An uncertain surface of sharp, painterly detail gives way to a graduated wash of light that laps from vivid colour to dark shadow.
This artwork seeks to capture the moon as a bejeweled globe that floats effortlessly in the ether, the mysterious substance once thought to suffuse the cosmos, the medium that propagated light. Sometimes known as aether, this was the quintessence of our medieval world, the material that filled the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. We now consider ether as a clear liquid to make us sleep, or the upper regions of air beyond the clouds. Perhaps it might also be thought of as the place of our dreams.
I am fascinated by our need for measurement and perspective almost as much as our enjoyment of ambiguity. Perhaps our thirst to know, as well as our pleasure for mystery is why I softened the detail in this work. Heavenly Body, with its blurry shapes and uncertain scale, gives us plenty to ponder on, but little in the way of clear-cut clarity.
It appears I could hold the luminous golden mottle green globe in my hands as much as see it among the stars. It is both immense and small, tactile yet nebulous. I recognize the lines of longitude and latitude that caress the sphere's surface, yet I am disoriented as the moon is presented in splendid isolation. There is no context to its north, its south, nor east or west. I can however journey through its beauty, a place far more difficult to describe, but a place nonetheless.