In various ancient philosophies, which have existed for thousands of years, the sign of the Sun (or fire) marks the beginning of everything and occupies the most revered place in the metaphysical system. The Sun has been worshipped by many nations as the source of light, dynamic energy and life in general. Without the Sun, there would be nothing – it is a metaphor for the transformative power of everything.
Despite the leitmotif of the beginning of life, the symbols of the Sun (fire) are attributed to the masculine element in ethnocosmology. The personification takes a feminine form in Ms Urbanavičiūtė’s series of paintings, ‘Women’, inspired by feminist ideas. Here, the deep-eyed ‘Sun’ is full of mystery and youthful exuberance: soft tongues of flame flutter in her palms, while her flowing hair is adorned with blossoming flowers and several Sun crosses – an ancient pagan symbol.
‘In these portraits, I convey the inner emotions of the character, the invisible colours in the landscapes, and I wrap the characters in the colours, textures, shapes of the play of light and shadow, and the elements of nature that I have seen, giving them a sense of mysticism and symbolism,’ says the artist.
The surface of the ‘Sun’ collectible silver coin is aged and the reverse features a stunning UV print. On the obverse, there is a pentagram with the five primary elements found in pagan philosophies: it’s air 🜁, earth 🜃, fire 🜂, water 🜄 and the all-embracing, life-giving Sun ⊕. The centre displays the public seal of Niue. Two katoua cleaving clubs – the symbol of Niue – are crossed below, and the island’s motto, ‘atua Niue tukulagi’, is written above them.