Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seven Sisters

I started with ‘horizon’.  I didn’t get too much farther in my thinking with ‘line’.  As I began thinking about horizon, with ‘lines’ in the back of my brain, I began looking at the heavens.  In my research the words Astronomical horizon had captured my imagination.

I’ve always been intrigued with instances of groups of people, quite separate geographically and culturally, coming to very similar places in their descriptions of their environment, their explanations of the outside world and their mythologies.  While I was looking heavenward metaphorically, I remembered that many peoples have similar stories of the spirits and deities that reside in the heavens.

Pleiades, for example, is know as “seven sisters” to Australian Aboriginal communities and the Nez Perce of North America, “daughters of the night” to the Berber, and “seven sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law” for the Ben Raji of Nepal.

We are all similarly hard-wired with a need to survive.  To survive we must understand our environment and, sometimes, that means we impose meaning on natural phenomena.

Across the world peoples have drawn imaginary lines in the sky, describing creation tales of morality and explanations for earthly people, and, of course, those that navigate the globe.  

Seven Sisters: 18”x24” artist dyed, painted and stitched


  1. Wow Diane, it looks like a beautiful, peaceful night sky. I love the quilting!

  2. I love this idea, the way people make connections and "draw imaginary lines in the sky" - the universal desire to analyze and explain incredible mysteries of nature. It's interesting, too, the way various cultures attribute feminine identities to this particular cluster of stars. Is there some ancient understanding that women work well together in a group? hmmm

  3. I'm gob-smacked by the fact you could actually dye the fabric to create the effect you wanted. Wonderful!

  4. Wow, Diane, this is really lovely. I love the fabric and your stitching.....and you description leads me in more new directions with this challenge. I've always marveled at the redundancies in different cultures, but had never thought of that in terms of astronomy.

  5. I love how you have lifted my thoughts of horizon into the stars and space. Hauntingly beautiful Diane.