This painting is one of my dearest creations. I started it in the pandemics, when I felt completely lost, like many of us at that time. I painted the whale, because I see it as as a symbol of quiet confidence and radical presence. A whale takes as much space as it takes, no more and no less. I named him Moku, which means “island” in Hawaiian. And island spells like Ísland, home.
For nearly 3 years this painting has been hanging in my studio; a silent witness of all my lomi lomi sessions. And for all these years it was kind-of-finished, but not really. Until recently, when I remembered the story of Polynesian navigators sailing through the Pacific. When they crossed the equator, a new star appeared on the sky. A fixed star. And it completely changed the principles of navigation.
Swiftly, at six in the evening, and not lingerlingly as at Bora Bora, the sun left the sky and the stars began to appear (…), but what the men watched was only the strange new star. (…). When they had triangulated the sky in every known way, when they had proved their frightening thesis beyond doubt, they were forced to the terrifying conclusion.
It was Tupuna who put it into words: – The news star does not move.
– It is fixed, Teroro agreed.
(…) Suddenly, and with dazzling clarity, Teroro saw an entirely new system of navigation based on the fixed star, and he thought: – Life must be sweet indeed for sailors in these waters! (…) The heavens are fixed! – he cried to himself. – And I shall be free to move beneath them.
– James Michener, “Hawaii”
When I added the North Star to the painting, the title came to me: The Interstellar Navigator. The one who is never lost. The one who has the most reliable navigating system: the Star within.