Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Timeless Story of the Stars; A Groundbreaking Show about Our Solar System Is Running at Life Science Centre, as BARBARA HODGSON Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Timeless Story of the Stars; A Groundbreaking Show about Our Solar System Is Running at Life Science Centre, as BARBARA HODGSON Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA HODGSON

THE story behind the stars, as imagined by cultures from around the world, is being told in a new Planetarium show at Life Science Centre in Newcastle.

Shared Skies brings under one umbrella a mix of tales about our night sky conjured up by the ancient world or handed down over generations to us today.

The millions of stars which make up what we call the Milky Way, for instance, were seen by the Mayans in South America as a pathway to the underworld, while for the ancient Egyptians it was a celestial version of the Nile, and in India a reflection of the Ganges.

The new 20-minute family show, which runs daily as part of a rolling programme, has picked out some of the most engaging myths and tells them via pictures - the work of Newcastle illustrator and print-maker Deborah Snell - which overlie the stars projected onto the Planetarium's overhead dome. And so, during the narration, we see the bear chase of North American tribal myth following the path of the Sun and, in place of Orion, we see how the people of Brazil joined the same dots to see an old man, with stick in hand and feather in cap.

Deborah, who took the commission in November, did a great deal of research into the stories and characters and came up with the artwork within four weeks.

"It's been a really good experience as it's not something I would normally do," says Deborah, originally from Lanchester in County Durham, who moved to Devon then London before returning to do her MA in illustration in Newcastle, studying fashion, textiles, screen printing and etching along the way.

Now living in Sandyford and working from studios at Northern Print in the Ouseburn, Deborah - who was picked as an "emerging artist" to showcase work at the 2009 Newcastle Gateshead Art Fair - often focuses her work around telling, or capturing a moment from, a story. It takes in pirate illustrations for a publishing company and a projection based on the seven deadly sins at The Stephenson Works in Newcastle as part of The Late Shows. …

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