STAR AXIS - CHARLES ROSS
Star Axis is one of the most beautiful art Earthwork I’ve ever seen. Artist Charles Ross did something that was attempted just by antique civilizations such as the Egyptians in the golden age of the Pharaohs. Deeply connecting the Cosmos and astronomy to a piece of art is, in my opinion, the closing of the supreme circle.
Star Axis is an architectonic earth/star sculpture constructed with the geometry of the stars. Created by artist Charles Ross, all of Star Axis’s shapes and angles are determined by earth-to-star alignments. They are built into the sculpture so that we can experience them in human scale. Star Axis offers an intimate experience of how the earth's environment extends into the space of the stars.
The approach to building Star Axis involves gathering a variety of star alignments occurring in different time scales and allowing them to form the architecture. The sculpture's name refers to its primary earth–to-star alignment: it is precisely aligned with Earth's axis, which now points toward our north star Polaris.
Charles Ross’s artwork is about light, time, and planetary motion. Star Axis is his largest project. It was conceived in 1971, and after a four-year search throughout the southwest, Ross broke ground in 1976. Star Axis is presently being constructed on a mesa in New Mexico. Built with granite and sandstone,at its outside dimensions, Star Axis will be 11 stories high and 1/10th of a mile across.
Star Axis has five main elements. The Star Tunnel is precisely aligned with Earth's axis. Here the viewer can walk through layers of celestial time, making directly visible the 26,000-year cycle of precession, Earth's shifting alignment with the stars. The Solar Pyramid marks the daily and seasonal movements of the sun across the Shadow Field. From inside the Hour Chamber you can view one hour of Earth's rotation, and from inside the Equatorial Chamber you can observe the stars that travel directly above the equator.