Mysterium (2003)

Medium: painted wooden splints
Size: 500 cm (h) x 1000 cm (l) x 500 cm (w)

Mysterium was commissioned by the McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park and exhibited from 5 – 30 November 2003 as part of the inaugural Biennale outdoor sculpture exhibition and award. It was not included in the competition.

Mysterium has a monumental mysterious quality befitting its title. It is an enigmatic object constructed out of minuscule elements which form a strange crystalline structure that glows and completely dominates the black space of the gallery.

Mysterium is powerful, but it is also still, and meditative. What is it? How did it get there? What does it mean? Perhaps it alludes to outer space or forgotten ancient civilizations. Or perhaps to philosophical reflections – who are we? – what is the meaning of life? It envelopes the viewer, creating a sense of fulfillment, as if there is a meaning to it all, even if one can never know what it is.

“There is no need to invent an explanation. The mystery is everything. This does not mean that one must not continue to seek knowledge, and with it wisdom; it simply means we should not fear not knowing; on the contrary, not knowing should spur us into learning more, and being brave enough to go where that knowledge takes us. Truth can be reached from so many different directions. Science, myth and metaphor can lead to an understanding which may otherwise lie hidden – and art definitely can. “

Asher Bilu October 2003

“From the beginning, Asher Bilu’s work has had two loci of concentration: the mystery of matter, its structures, boundaries and possibilities, and Mystery itself, space, sound, reverberations of the invisible, the very universe. His abiding personal insight is that, for him, one leads into the other. They are not in conflict. Matter is not the antagonist; it is his tool or path for reaching spirit.”

Heather Ellyard December 2000.