There are 88 modern constellations in the sky, suspended amongst incredible natural phenomena that shape worlds beyond our own, and for the COSMOS exhibition, Light Grey Art Lab had brought together 100 international artists, each contributing a symbolic depiction of one of the constellations or nearby astral bodies. The project also featured the launch of a limited edition COSMOS Tarot & Oracle Deck, published in conjunction with the COSMOS Exhibition. This boxed-set includes every piece of artwork from the COSMOS Exhibition in 100 gilded-edge cards featuring gold foil overlays of each constellation.
I was chosen to participate in the show and was challenged to create an Illustration to exemplify the constellation, Columba. Columba’s name in Latin means “the dove,” specifically in relation to the Biblical story of Noah’s ark. It was introduced in the late 16th century and is located in the southern sky. I decided to personify three of the stars in the constellation: Phact (the main star, Alpha Comumbae) which means “the dove” or “ring dove”, which symbolizes the intervention of God and His promise; Wezn (the word in Arabic means “The Weight”), which represents mortality and the death of man that occurred during the flood; and Ghusn al Zaitun (Delta Columbae) which is derived from a term in Arabic meaning “olive branch” which expresses rebirth and new life, opposite of Wezn.