Jill Chism, Artist

Jill Chism: Artist
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Artspace, Mackay 2005. Reconfigured in 2006 at Cairns Regional Gallery
Paper clay, fibreglass, unfired clay and found objects

The idea for Earthpods comes from an understanding of the earth/ Gaia and its inhabitants as being a whole living system where every organism affects the whole as a self-regulating entity.  This idea while promoted more recently in Gaia Theory, through the study of the atmosphere by Dr James Lovelock, was the basis of the ancient Taoist understanding of man and nature.

As one of the oldest living texts the I Ching outlines how we are connected to nature and the elements and shows how they offer us an understanding of who we are.
Through symbols and codes the I Ching reveals the mystery and secret nature of the universe and its workings along with our place within it.

The text consists of 64 hexagrams. The basic hexagrams are the eight elements of wind, water, fire, earth, thunder, lake, mountain and heaven. These are used as symbols to teach particular aspects of our essential nature. Incidentally foretelling the discovery of the 64 essential DNA codons, which form our biological make-up, creating individuality.

In the process of creating Earthpods, I contemplated each of the hexagrams and created personal interpretations of the original text to arrive at a word or meaning, which is inscribed on each sphere.  The process was meant to offer a contemplative tool for understanding our mysterious relationship with mother earth.
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  • 2005 Earthpods, Mackay Artspace. Fired and unfired paper clay. 20mm diametre pieces. Showing a detail of the installation. <br /><br />'Earthpods' is based on the I Ching, which was originally understood as a set of teachings. During the exhibition some of the pods broke open to reveal a hidden message. width:722;;height:480
  • 2005 Earthpods, Mackay Artspace. Fired and unfired paper clay. Close up shots 40mm diam width:614;;height:461
  • Whole view of installation at Cairns Regional Gallery 2006 width:358;;height:500
  • Showing a detail of the hexagrams and inscribed text on the outside of the pods. width:614;;height:461
  • Detail showing bones stones and unfired clay. width:533;;height:800
  • The larger pods represented the 8 elements. To draw attention to the natural environment, sticks, bones, stones and seeds from the shoreline were added as an extra dimension into the work. width:800;;height:521
  • 2005 Earthpods, Mackay Artspace. Fired and unfired paper clay.<br /><br />The arrangement of the pods was to emphasize energetic patterns and draw attention to the energetic impact individual perceptions have on the wider environment.<br /><br />The arrangement at Mackay Artspace was more minimal. It alluded to crop circle formations. width:722;;height:480
  • 2005 Earthpods, Mackay Artspace. Fiberglass, Fired and unfired paper clay. 1 metre diameter pieces<br /><br />The larger pods were representative of the eight elements, which form the basis of all the other hexagrams/teachings in the I Ching. width:640;;height:480
  • Showing unfired clay applied to the largest pods. width:480;;height:722
  • 2005 Earthpods, Mackay Artspace. Fired and unfired paper clay. 20mm diametre pieces<br /><br />Each of the pods contained a simplified message from one of the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. The text was arranged to play out extended meanings. The work revealed my subjective interpretation of the Taoist text. <br /><br />The central pod in the line would break open during the exhibition and reveal text inside based on 2 of the hexagrams from the I Ching. width:480;;height:722
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