I traveled to the island of Kefalonia, Greece in May of 2017 to collaborate on a large public mural in front of a primary school. The trip was part of an artist residency program hosted by Georgia State University and the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture. I was assigned the role of lead artist and managed the entire project. Working with four artist assistants, I oversaw the conceptualization, design, and execution of the mural within a two-week time span.
The mural concept is based on celestial navigation in Ancient Greece. It is located on a wide wall that runs along a street, then curves and makes a complete U-turn around the street corner, and then up a staircase leading into the school. On the largest expanse of wall, doves are painted against a graphic blue and green background, representing the Pleiades (aka Seven Sisters) star cluster rising above the horizon. This annual astronomical event was observed by ancient sailors to mark the beginning of the sailing season, and was very important to Ancient Greeks, who created a myth to explain its origins. The myth goes that the Pleiades were seven nymph sisters who were transformed by Zeus first into doves, then into stars. Each artist painted one dove in their own unique style. The mural also features an astrolabe, which was invented in Ancient Greece, and can be thought of like a compass for the stars. The literal translation of astrolabe in Greek to English is “Star Taker,” which is the title of the mural.