Revisiting Familiar History through Unexpected Panoramas

Using photographic techniques borrowed from the fields of both astronomy and biology, visual artist Osheen Harruthoonyan creates a series of metaphorical landscapes that look to retrace his family heritage.


A Circle of Bluebirds re-imagines the history of the artist's family in Armenia and Italy through three different lenses: a telescope, a microscope, and the artist's imagination.

Photographs of the sun, Saturn, and the north star are infused with otherworldly images overlaid onto landscapes as themes of love, happiness, and connection absent from the stories of Harruthoonyan's past create visions of a new earth.

On this other earth, bluebirds, an ancient symbol of love and happiness, take the place of distant stars. A young girl swallows a star and butterflies weave through constellations and space dust. The Van Allen belt, a protective field between the realms of astronomy and biology, is the invisible circle holding the artist's vision together. In this belt, the creation, destruction, and re-creation of energy is constantly occurring - not unlike the memories of the places where our families are born, and reborn, across generations.

While it cannot be seen with the naked eye, when the movement of this energy is translated into auditory waves, it sounds like a circle of birds chirping - proving that it is, perhaps, only our limited mentalities or methods that keep us from experiencing the new worlds awaiting just beyond the stories that defined our past.

Words and Pictures by .







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Osheen Harruthoonyan is a New York-based photographer who merges movement with themes of cultural heritage and renewal. His prints layer images of the macro (Saturn), with the micro (organisms), to create new perspectives of our world, challenging our perception of familiar sights. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.

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This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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