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Installation Art

Title: Look through my eyes
Medium: Mixed Media
Year: 2009

My source of inspiration comes from Daniel 12:3 “And the teachers and those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness shall give forth light like the stars forever and ever.”

If you look a little closer you will see that people and stars are not as different as you might think. In my work I am playing with the idea that in the Bible it says we are made from dust and then God breathed life into us. As fate should have it, stars are made from dust and gas as well. Stars are composed of the same elements as we are. Stars are born, develop and then die, and so too do we. As stars change through their life cycles so do we change through our stages of life. Stars are light and indeed we emit light as well through our auras. If you look at a graph of the energy expenditure of a star and of humans, you will find that they look very similar. Each star has its own unique stellar spectral absorption lines; astonishingly people also have individual fingerprints.

I have taken the scientific classification of Main Sequence Stars O,B,A,F,G,K,M from the Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram and I have divided it into stages of life from infancy to middle and late adulthood. I have included a Black hole, Planetary Nebula, Supernova, Super Giant, Giant, Shooting star and even the stage forming existence, namely Prenatal. On the inside of the dome Hermien Oliver sewed on the Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere in autumn with reflective ribbons. The big, one meter circular glass piece has the Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere in autumn with each square representing the different stages of life. It starts with he biggest squares representing infancy. Infants have the most energy and blue and purple stars have got the most energy and are the brightest stars, therefore I have colour coded it blue and purple. Whereas middle and late adulthood have the least amount of energy. Red, orange and yellow stars have the least amount of energy, therefore I colour coded it in those colours accordingly and made it the smallest squares.

The notion of me comparing people to stars is that I would like people to see themselves and others as stars. I want people to feel valued and precious just like a star. I have included interactive art by allowing people to create their own “fingerprint” by drawing anything they like to create their unique Stellar Spectral Absorption Lines. This is to show individuality, uniqueness and that they are special. By creating their own “fingerprint” I want people to become aware of the power and beauty of their own presence. Just by your mere presence you already change the universe. A fingerprint is an imprint that will remain in the universe for an eternity even after we have departed.

The music was composed by Len van Staden. By adding music I wanted to give my work a more human touch. The music has been composed to represent the different stages of life.

I collaborated mostly with Astronomer Louis Barendse as well as Astronomer Tristin Lang And thank them for giving light on the subject!


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