Homage to a Broken Stone 2023-2024

Homage to a Broken Stone 2023-2024
Homage to a Broken Stone
Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand

Waiheke Island, New Zealand


stone, wood, stainless-steel cable, and fungi

The stone that features in this work was found by Chris Booth in Tākou, Northland. Over centuries, it was shaped by acid wash from the rotting foliage of prehistoric forests. Struck by its unique shape and proportions, which reminded him of a shrouded human body, he arranged with the kaitiaki to remove it. But, when it was dumped in his yard along with tonnes of heavy boulders, it broke in two. Years later, together with fellow Northland sculptor Tom Hei Hei they tended to it like a damaged limb, using steel pins and bandages to make it whole again. Afterwards it was placed atop a pyre structure, made of Waiheke olive and macrocarpa wood. A pyre would usually go up in flames, but here is passed on to the world’s tiniest organisms. Slowly, billions of microscopic mycorrhizal fungi will consume the olive wood supporting the stone, lowering it back to earth. This contrasts the constant activity with the eternity represented by the rock, in a tribute to cycles of life and death in which everything has its place.

Thanks to Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Art Gallery, Steve Cassidy, Tony Revel, private Waiheke client and Allpress Olive Groves.


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