You Are Here is a modular installation that recreates the constellations of the night sky in physical form, as they are depicted in celestial atlases, and suspends them overhead to create a life size stellarium.

You Are Here was inspired by my discovery of celestial atlases with their detailed illustrations of the constellations in corporeal form, a menagerie of wild and domesticated animals, creatures of the sea, birds in flight, mythological beasts, heroes and goddesses all posed in a celestial tableau vivant.

The more I looked at these atlases the more I wanted to be among these constellations, in their physical presence. You Are Here completes this metamorphosis of the stars from points of light to recognizable shapes to illustrated figures to physical, three-dimensional form.

The animal constellation figures are made from life size taxidermy forms detailed with facial and bodily features and surfaced with crafting materials like flocking for animals with fur or sequins for animals with scales. Some of the more familiar animal constellations included are Ursa Major and Minor (the Bears) also known as the Big and Little Dippers and Leo Major and minor (the Lions) The human constellation figures are made from tailor’s dummies and dress forms, retrofitted with boot trees, mannequin parts and head forms and accessorized with their requisite hand props and costume pieces. Some of the human constellations included are Bootes (the Herdsman), Hercules (the Strongman) and Andromeda (the Chained Princess).

The constellation objects are represented by those actual scale objects, like Libra, here represented by an antique hanging scale. Other object constellations include Come Berenices (the Hair of Berenice), Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown) and Lyra (the Lyre).

All of the constellation forms are equipped with LED lights, embedded and attached to the figures, arranged to replicate the star pattern by which the constellation is identified. These LED starlights are powered by AC battery or DC plug in. The animal and human figures contain strategically placed eyebolts to serve as hang points for installation.

While the ultimate goal of this project is the creation of an immersive installation, containing as many of the constellations that are visible in the at any one time, between 30 – 40, smaller groups of constellations can also be presented on their own and in relationship to each other. The modular design of this installation makes it adaptable to a variety of venues and presentation styles. You Are Here functions as a site specific / time based work when the constellation figures can be suspended overhead and illuminated by the natural light of a skylight, atrium or window. The fading light of sunset, dusk and twilight silhouettes the figures, returning them to the star pattern from which they originated.