7 rocks bärbel ullrich  
Artist's Statement 2016 – 2017
 

Stones and rocks have always had a fascination for me and I have used this imagery repeatedly in my work.

Stones had a highly symbolic meaning for ancient societies. Carl Jung noted that “rough, natural stones were often believed to be the dwelling places of spirits or gods, and were used in primal cultures as tombstones, boundary stones, or objects of religious veneration.” They invested the stone with more expressive power than chance and nature could give it.

For my latest body of work, I have focussed on interacting with a specific site in the bush on our property at an intersection of two creeks at the foot of Mt Bogong. The two creeks meet at the base of three large hills. I have named this area THE SITE.

THE SITE contains massive stones which would have been moved by the force of water over the aeons. At this point of the creek intersection there is a huge stone, now covered in moss and lichen. When I first discovered it, it had some markings in it. The markings represented a triangle – an archetypal symbol. It is now overgrown with moss and I am reluctant to disturb it.

These types of stones could be known as ‘omphalos’ which are conical stones representing the central point of the earth. Stones and mountains are among the oldest symbols of the Great Mother Goddess.

I have used images of stones in my work as they are not only an archetypal symbol but a predominant aspect of THE SITE and are related to the creek environment. The also reflect a sense of permanence in the environment which is in a constant state of flux and change.

In many cultures, stones are also believed to contain divine powers, they are used as monuments to represent the eternal and immortal forces, or the transcendence of time. Many religions use a stone to signify God or to mark a place of worship. Stones are invested with sacred powers and are believed to contain a spiritual life force and a mystery. As such, they are more than inanimate objects representing something greater–than–human. I am always in awe of large stones – there is an aspect of the sublime within their profound mass and permanence.

 
 

a series of 21 mixed–media prints on 300gsm hahnemule paper 53cm x 53cm
 
all works are for sale and reasonably priced
please contact the artist – barbel@barbelullrich.com.au