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Garuda Dances Under the Ocean Moon


Garuda Dances Under the Ocean Moon


For several seasons, I have had the good fortune to work with Princess Mirah Designs for Bali Fabrics, Inc., making quilts from their fabrics for them to display in their booth at Quilt Markets. For the Fall 2004 Market, I wanted to celebrate the traditions of Bali. My mom has a small silver Balinese war god statue with spread wings. I thought the wings would be perfect for using a wide variety of the company's beautiful batiks.

Research on the internet led me to the image of the garuda, who is so important in Balinese culture that the national airlines are named after the Garuda. In this piece, the jungle frames the view of the Garuda, leaping with wings outspread towards the moon, hovering above the moonlit ocean. From Hinduism, the Garuda has the head and wings of an eagle, the torso (or sometimes the rest of the body) of a man, and is called the king of birds. He is also the carrier or mount of the God Vishnu and his consort, Lakshmi. Garuda is the subject of many stories in the Mahabharata and other Purana. (Encyclopedia Brittanica defines the Purana: "in Hindu sacred literature, the purana are any of a number of popular collections of myth, legend, and genealogy, varying greatly as to date and origin.") According to one story, Vinita, the progenitor of gods and men, laid an egg and became the mother of this bird-god. As soon as Garuda was born, his body expanded and touched the sky, his eyes were like lighting, and the mountains trembled when he spread his wings. In some stories, Garuda is said to be surrounded by a halo of fire. In other stories, it is said that the bird was the incarnation of the fire god because of how brightly it shone at birth.

Size:  44 x 44 inches; completed 2004.

$ 1,200.00