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Celebrating Townsville Exhibition - The Artists

Educational resources regarding the artists participating in JCU Library's "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition for the T150 project

S’labicated Monument 1 and 2

S’labicated Monument 1, by Robert Preston

Robert PRESTON
b. 1942 United Kingdom
S’labicated Monument 1 2010
Charcoal and black chalk on paper
55 x 75 cm
Collection of the artist
Photograph: Michael Marzik

S’labicated Monument 2, by Robert Preston

Robert PRESTON
b. 1942 United Kingdom
S’labicated Monument 2 2010
Charcoal and black chalk on paper
55 x 75 cm
Collection of the artist
Photograph: Michael Marzik

S’labicated Monument 1, by Robert Preston

S’labicated Monument 1 (2010),
by Rober Preston (1942-)
Photograph: Michael Marzik.

S’labicated Monument 2, by Robert Preston

S’labicated Monument 2 (2010),
by Rober Preston (1942-)
Photograph: Michael
Marzik.

These two large drawings are based on the decorative concrete slabs which form part of the architectural design of the School of Creative Arts (SoCA) building on the JCU Townsville Campus. The artist was fascinated by these structures which did not appear to have any particular function.

ARTIST STATEMENT

A search for meaning in the meaningless
“On the one hand the structures had the appearance of an ancient monument like Stonehenge while on the other they looked like a line of letter forms in the style of ‘Superblock’ Graffiti.
I wondered if it was supposed to look like a group of letters and if so had they been arranged aesthetically or to construct a word?

If it was a word, it was a strange one- nIHI. It seemed at first close to the Latin word ‘Nihl’ (meaning nothing). However a further search led to a match in – ‘Pascuan’ – the Austronesian language of the Easter Islanders, the greatest Polynesian builders and carvers of the giant stone statues.

‘Maoi’: Nihi in ‘Pascuan’ means arch or curve and Nihi- Nihi means great curve, bend or arched like the heavens in a bow, the very antitheses of the SoCA structure. Nihi is a word strongly associated with celestial events which suggests a direct link with the forces of nature and signals the great cosmic cycles which directly influence them. If this was not planned by the architect of the SoCA building it represents a lost opportunity of what could have been”.

Soca Building, Photograph by Andrew Rankin  SOCA building, photograph by Andrew Rankin

Figure 1: Photographs of the SoCA building, JCU Townsville Campus by Andrew Rankin

 

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.

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