Our Common Home
"We are Stardust, we are golden…"
A well known lyric, and certainly one associated with the hippie generation of the 60s, but it is also fact, not just poetic. We all come from the stars - the supernovae of the early universe turned light elements into heavy elements, and then formed clouds of gas, which formed planets, and so on.
We are all travelers in that sense, all immigrants from the universe, from the stars. It is easy to intellectualize this, harder to feel it with our increasingly hectic and disconnected lives. The stars were more revered and mystical in our ancient history, and the ancient astronomers of Sumeria, Babylonia, the Mayans and Ancient Greece, to name a few civilizations, were the first to chart the constellations, the first to observe the cycles and events in the night sky.
Wars were fought based on astral events, omens were perceived, gods were inspired, and of course the navigators charted their courses by them.
My image was a difficult one to complete - a nighttime scene is always harder for some reason - and the editing was tricky, despite the apparent simplicity of the piece. While not implicit, my subject is an ancient astronomer, observing the celestial bodies and mapping them. I wanted something open-ended and symbolic, the skin being a pattern of a star chart, and having that person gazing into the night sky - a sense of peace, even though it may be a lonely scene.
My title was found during a search for astral-related articles and ancient astronomers. Strangely, it is a quote from Gorbachev from the 1980s, where he referred to Europe as our common home. But taking this concept of origins to the extreme, the universe and the stars are really our common home.
As this may be my last new piece of 2013, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for viewing and supporting me this year - I am always grateful for the responses and comments! Thank you!
A Before and After version of this image can be seen on my Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/MichaelBilottaPhotography
model: Gilberto Mendez