What I suggest is the existence of a kind of memory inherent in each organism in what I call its morphogenic or morphic field. As time goes on, each type of organism forms a specific kind of cumulative collective memory. The regularities of nature are therefore habitual. Things are as they are because they were as they were. The universe is an evolving system of habits.
Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna & Ralph Abraham, Chaos, creativity and cosmic consciousness, 2001.
Hillside explores what could be termed a cumulative collective memory of a particular setting, a morphic field in Rupert Sheldrake’s terminology. It is a metaphor for our collective journey into this life on earth and beyond it. It is a rite of passage, as well as a reference to a hillside typical of the landscape west of the city of Canberra, where I live – an area made up of grassland and rivers, and referred to as the Lower Molonglo Valley.
This landscape is at once sparse, harsh and amazingly fragile and delicate. The passing seasons hint at a sense of eternity, yet also leave space for the unique ephemeral moment, the unrepeatable miracle of existence.
Bronze is the perfect material through which to convey this combination of roughness and brutal strength, together with that whispering fragility. In the sculpture there is a constant play between the solid bronze forms and the shadows and spaces. The bronze forms are a morphological interpretation of these elements. Silences are as important as sounds, while space and shadows define our existence.
Hillside is a sculptural poem, a hieroglyphical stanza of our existence on earth that seems to tap into something very familiar to each of us, yet at the same time is indecipherable.
Photography: Neal McCracken