Celestial BodiesThe Celestial Bodies are on sale online at my Etsy shop and a photo book of all 26 plus text is available from Blurb.
The Pseudomorphs and the Celestial Bodies are built with the same parameters. The Celestials often incorporate more than three objects, but the three categories of plant, animal, manufactured all need to be represented. When I was collecting objects to make into Pseudomorphs I had many that were either circular or radially organized. These didn't lend themselves to the visual grafting technique and so when I made my first image with round things I used layering techniques instead. There are a lot of complex and beautiful ways to layer things in Photoshop. But the resulting image, now titled "Celestial Bodies: Aldebaran," seemed to be too different from the other Pseudomorphs, so I set it aside. Before I printed editions or framed any of these I would show proofs to visitors and I had one visitor who really responded to Aldebaran. So I decided to keep riffing on round. Many of the source images I use are scans I've made of actual objects. If I leave the scanner lid open to accommodate thicker objects then the light from the scanner falls off into space and in the resulting scan the object appears to be emerging from blackness. This blackness reminded me of the emptiness of space, and since many planets are uncannily spherical, my round layered things appeared to be celestial bodies. I knew I wanted to do a series of riffs on round—maybe I always think in series because I started out making books—and I decided to do 26 named for each letter of the alphabet, named after real extraterrestrial places. I have sometimes chosen colors based on their real namesakes, and if the object is a double star I sometimes make a double-round riff (like for Hadar). Whenever I have to choose an arbitrary number I try to make 26 work because I love the alphabet so much.