Friday, January 4, 2013
Aquarius and JRT
The silver stars and silhouette of Aquarius the water bearer are illustrated in this handmade block print. The water flows right down to Piscis Austrinus, the fish. Parts of the constellations of Capricornus, Pisces and Sculptor and the dashed line of the ecliptic are also shown. If you imagined all celestial bodies we see in the night sky as mapped onto a sphere (the Celestial Sphere) around our Earth, the ecliptic would be the line you would draw to map the apparent path of the Sun through the various constellations. The word Aquarius and symbol ♒ appear at the top of the image. The lines linking the constellation appear in silver-on-blue or blue-on-silver as appropriate. There are a couple of bright galaxies or star clusters shown as circles. I printed an edition of eight prints, 9 inches by 7.5 inches (22.9 cm by 19 cm) on lovely, deep blue, handmade, Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper with silk fibres.
The Babylonians identified this constellation with their god Enki (or Ea). Enki was the deity of crafts (gašam); mischief; water, seawater, lakewater (a, aba, ab), intelligence (gestú, literally "ear") and creation (Nudimmud: nu, likeness, dim mud, make bear). As a marine geophysicist and a maker, this sounds like my sort of myth.
Also today, I printed a second edition of my portrait of Orbit, a.k.a. Lady Giggleswick (after receiving an anxious enquiry from that there would be a seconde édition, non?). Here she is, back by popular demand: