Shattered lives and diamonds

On returning to the studio I was greeted with a familiar site..


One of the figures had collapsed.. this I regard as ‘studio editing’, and happens from time to time,


It was the guy on the left below


This arm also fell off at the Sax studio.

P_20150115_114411         IMG_0827    IMG_0826

Anyway.. enough dwelling on loss .. I was very pleased to get straight back into some wax work. I wrestled with this idea….


For a long time now (infact since reading Sebald ‘s ‘Rings of Saturn’ and long studio chats with my painter friend Kate Giles ) the ‘Quincunx’ has niggled me.

Imagine the number 5 as seen on a dice, 4 dots and a dot in the middle, or the letter ‘X’, thats a quincunx. Its been around a long time, any diamond shaped pattern is basically the quincunx. You see it in leaded windows, Harlequins jackets, chessboards, lattices. Medievil orchards and plantations were designed using it etc.


I pick it up with Thomas Browne (1695) in his ‘Garden of Cyrus’, where he proposes its the connection between Art and Nature..

The Garden of Cyrus is Browne’s Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean vision of the interconnection of art and nature via various symbols, primarily the number five and the quincunx pattern, along with their variants, the figure X and lattice design. Its slender, but compressed pages of imagery, symbolism and associative thought are exemplary of Sir Thomas Browne‘s understanding of Hermetic philosophy and its fundamental quest, namely, proof of the wisdom of God, through advocation of intelligent design. The structure that combines the two, evidences gods work in both etc.

He see’s the quincunx at work in the growth of shells, plant life – seed heads in sunflowers, crystals etc.

Its used even now, in the screen you are reading this blog on, its the structure of the mesh that allows the edges of pixels to blend (rasterise) to create smooth lines and junctions on a computer screen.

Basically its very interesting and some artists have used it to develop compositional structures, it would get you away from the golden section very easily.

I have long wanted to examine this in my sculpture making, failing on numerous occasions. This time though, I feel the new fracturing / fragmentation method i’ve develped can maybe open up some territory for exploring the potential of the Quincunx again, hence this diamond man:


I discovered some strange links whilst in Australia with Aboriginal artists who superficially use similar structural ideas see below:


The interpretaiton text is worth a read:


‘Rarrk’ work is an incredible discipline specialised in by tribes from Arnhem Land and thereabouts consisting of intense crosshatching, in itself a kind of quincunx lattice.. I love also the idea of ‘Buwayak’ to simultaneosly make elements visible and invisible, this strikes me as something I am dealing with in this latest series.

This lattice is also visible in Nonggirrnga Marawali’s bark painting below:



I love the idea of ‘fire burning backwards’

there’s a rare poetry in these works.

So it is with these thoughts that I will dig for a while (yet again) in this garden.


Other news.

The river man is now in bronze, very difficult casting, the guys at the studio were brilliant as usual..


This head form has also been cast:



Also assembling another ‘Crouching man’ these are the bronze sections:


and here he is coming together:


Here are the legs of the ‘Carrier’ the last of the edition.



I’ve also been selected to show work in ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ in Sydney, on the coast around Bondi, its a very big event there!


I leave you with a sculpture I loved in the ‘Asian conversations show’  at the ‘Art Gallery of New South Wales’  in Sydney. Its by Rodney Glick, called ‘Everyone’ carved and painted wood on a table and woven mat..


Check out for the finished article.


One thought on “Shattered lives and diamonds

  1. Your broken figures reminded me of all the broken lives and bodies in Syria at the moment…..something I’m dealing with. I’ll look forward to seeing your thoughts in bronze.


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