laser cut melamine coated MDF
400cm X 300cm X 200cm
- Vicente, Travessa de Ermida Gallery, Belém, Portugal, Curated by Mario Caeiro, 2010
- Systems of Romance, Kickarts Contemporary Art Space, Cairns, Australia, 2012
- Islamic Art Festival, Sharjah Art Museum, 2015-16
MAIOR AUTEM ANIMAE PARS EXTRA CORPUS EST
(the major part of the soul is outside the body)
Relicario is a modular sculptural system I created for the Vicente exhibition in Portugal curated by Mario Caeiro and is development of previous systems such as Cryptosphere and Paratekton. It consists of 33 617 x 617 x 617mm modules. The entire system is flat-packed, each module consists of four 12mm laser cut patterns that slot together to make a cubic form. Each of the 33 modules has 24 joining points at their six extremities and they have the potential to be configured in many different ways depending on the space they are being installed by the artist in. There is a default arrangement to be used when the artist is not present to supervise installation.
It is a sculptural installation based on the legend of St Vicente, patron saint of Lisbon who was supposed to have arrived in Lisbon floating on the river Tagus. The installation for Ermida references the reliquary, the resting place of a saint’s bones. The physical structure of the work is white MDF elements slotted together in a dense but open concretion in the centre of the space just above the floor. The piece becomes a white nexus of spiritual energy, a white filigree in a white room hovering near the floor, pile of transfigured bones emanating radioactively into the space.
The open fretwork of the modules is transcribe from the typical Lisboetan blue and white tiling so the mass of matter in the middle of the room is highly patterned and dematerialised, a ghost-like emnation.
This work comes out of my interest in mysticism, particularly the writing of Meister Ekhart whose ideas about the relationship of the indivisible godhead have resonances with Vedic metaphysics. The artist sees this sculpture as a concretion, a deposition of immaterial energy, a making visible and embodying or instantiating in matter a pattern or spirit.