Digit - 7 to 26 September, 1999.
Artis Gallery Press Release, 23 August, 1999.

John Edgar's latest show, Digit, at Artis Gallery, Parnell refers to both numbering systems; the indelible inscription of digital information on stone, and to human extremities. Fingers of stone, stone barcodes, signs and icons. The ten works have evolved from Edgar's earlier works, away from the primary use of black granite and white marble into an array of different colours and textures. Red sandstone from India, black granite from Africa, white marble from Italy, glass from the UK, andesite, limestone, granite and scoria from New Zealand. Colour ranging from white, grey, black and red with their innumerable variations of texture.

Unlike Edgar's previous work, which was viewed as if from a great distance and making human form invisible, the new works are on a more proportionate human scale. They are more intimate, their material hardness offset by their smooth edged tactility. They are approachable and eminently touchable. Stone functioning as a memorial, a representation and a sign, and as such gaining a certain permanence. Whether ancient or modern their sheer weight and immutability mock the frailty of humanity. Humans are represented here by the femur, Bone, larger than life yet anatomically correct. Bone is interesting on a number of levels. Its oversized scale and its cool, white smoothness make it compellingly attractive while the reality of what it signifies makes it repellent. The femur is doubly significant within the context of the show in that it is on what we stand, while Edgar's columns and pillars mimic the human form in their upright stance. Like stone memorials, bones represent remains; of civilisations, of places of significance, of events long past.

Flagstone too marks a place of significance, an actual position. A flag denotes ownership, identity and sovereignty. It can inflame national pride, it can spark indignant outrage, a flag stakes a claim and sets a boundary. Edgar's stone flags are seen as an eroded element from a greater past. What had the all invasive and all pervasive sense of sovereignty are now crumbling. Eroded by time, indifference and changing history.

John Edgar's most recent works are about markings and memory. This most contemporary of stonemasons, penetrates and fuses stone, encasing and embedding one stone into another, creating a series of works as permanent as they are beautiful and as rich in meaning as they are in significance.

John Edgar and Artis Gallery would like to thank Trethewey Granite and Marble Ltd.