Daria Panichas

Stella Nova

The Shape of Stars: Stella Nova

“The cosmos is within us. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made of the interiors of collapsing stars. We are, each of us, a little universe.” — Carl Sagan

Meadowsweet. Milkweed. Chrysanthemums. Fall Squash.

Half a cabbage, a hunk of wasp comb, a broken blossom. Bark on a street, lilies in a pool, geese in a river, a sheep in a pen, a seal in a tank, a mushroom in the sun. A small frozen rivulet, a spider plant shoot, a scrap of holly, a tiny hatched egg.

A head of cosmic cauliflower. A hummingbird’s home. 

A human. Her camera. Her world.

All made of star-stuff.

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The Shape of Stars is a series of photographs that currently consists of two parts: Stella Nova, shown below, and Nebula. The series is a meditation on the little worlds we (you, me, sheep, plants, water, rocks) live within, the larger world we all inhabit, and what binds us to our worlds and one other. Born during a time of intense isolation and societal division, it invites the viewer to reconsider the prevailing discourse of insurmountable social differences and disconnection from (and exploitation of) the natural world, and consider instead both how interconnected we all aredown to our very chemical makeupand how essential it is to  recognize the fundamental, universal, star-stuff  connection to one another and all that’s around us, to uphold and ensure the survival of all.

Below is a selection of works from a much larger collection. Please contact me to see additional pieces. 

Click on the tiles to see the full images and a slide show.