SUM - Sculptures by John Edgar
Media Release, 25 September, 2001

Over the past year Karekare sculptor John Edgar has been making stone sculptures for an exhibition at Artis Gallery in Parnell which opens to the public on the 9th October.

The exhibition entitled "Sum" is comprised of two parts. The first group of granite sculptures are made from thin slices of one stone interlaid in a second contrasting stone. When cut and polished they appear as stone bar codes. These sculptures are coded fragments of data embedded in stone, and for the artist they represent information in digital form.

The second group of sculptures are round smooth stones, each of which have the symbol of the cross embedded in them, like a large "plus" sign. Altogether, the 14 works are a collection or addition of information. Edgar says that for him the exhibition is about the way that we store and access information in the 21st century.

"The fact that the first group of works all have broken-off ends, with parts of them are missing, is indicative of the nature of information now. We can never know everything, and the knowledge we have is always going to be fragmented. We can never know that full story. I want my work to represent aspects the modern world in which we live, and at the same time to acknowledge the very beginnings of civilisation, the ordering and understanding of knowledge, the ways numbers and counting systems arose, and the traditions of stone working which go back to the very earliest human activities."

The materials used are the finest granites and marbles from famous world sources in Italy, Africa, India. "In the past I used only New Zealand indigenous stones in my work, but as the works have got larger over the past 10 years, I have had to look further afield for my raw materials" says John Edgar. "I am very fortunate that in Auckland I can gain access to these wonderful stones through the support of Trethewey Stone. They import the very best from around the world and have generously given me access to the raw materials I need for my sculptures."