Sanctum (1993)

Wood, matches, rope, paint
Gallery size: 12m high x 20m long x 5m wide
Towers: Wooden splints, painted whit

Height – 4.9 metres

Diameter – 2.5 metres (variable)

Walls: Hundreds of carved redgum pieces, painted white
Rope: Synthetic paint on rope. Length – 30 metres
Photos: Kenneth Pleban

There is a kind of magic with the word art; it makes you believe that things can be transformed. The reason for my choice of splints of wood for the towers was partly that there had to be so many of them. Like grains of sand, cells, they were to make up one big thing. Each splint could represent a person, a soul. Caught within this is the idea of numbers, so many of them, so close, and of their becoming one. From a distance, the shape shimmers. The viewer draws closer and closer: What are they?At last it is possible to recognize little splints, painted white to accent the purity of the image. A white shadow, creating shadows.

Asher Bilu


a day later

and i have after-images

of light

and a breathing ‘spine’ of colours.

and a memory

of remembered-collective-sorrow,

intangible and barely acknowledged,

in the midst of soaring quiet.

the icons of whitened wood

around the walls,

clean white on white,

remind me

of time as well as space:

the time it took

to grow that way,

to be noticed,

to be given singular definition

and to turn into metaphor.

the towers,

though abstract,

seem to me

an act of love.

i hope the work

gives you back

as least as much

as you put in

to its creation.


Heather Shain Ellyard 16.9.93