Drawing connections between the terrestrial and celestial, I create work based on celestial cartography from beet papyrus, thin slices of beets dried together under pressure adhered by their own sugars. This layered star map simultaneously depicts two different ways of seeing Pegasus in the night sky: as an upright flying horse (H.A. Rey) and as the front half of upside down horse built around the Great Square (International Astronomical Union). In conversations with Michelle Nichols at the Adler Planetarium, I learned that many different versions of each constellation simultaneously exist, revealing astronomy’s connections to both science and poetry. I work with local farms to source many different varietals of beets for use in my studio to mirror the complexity above us with that below us.

The frame for Double Pegasus was built with Aimee Graham. The piece was completed with studio assistance from Amy Leners and Dale Goodman. Documentation of piece and diagram design of Pegasus info made by Michael Hall.

Thank you Preston Farm & Winery for growing beets to use in my studio. Thank you Michelle Nichols at The Adler Planetarium for her knowledge about astronomy and the Pegasus constellation. Thank you to Fred Sasaki at the Poetry Foundation for support in realizing this project.

This piece was created for The Poetry Foundation's upcoming group exhibition "Pegasus & Mermaids." For more information about the exhibition at The Poetry Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, click here.


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