Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney Australia — 2013

Stationed like a cross or compass on a rocky outcrop on Australia's Pacific coastline, the gloss-black granite x is a micro stone-marker on a vast expanse of ancient Aboriginal land. Its shadow-figure and title accentuate missing links that cross oceans and time in the histories, occupations, and politics of peoples and place. A singular first-form, the x-figure arms indicate Aboriginal rock etchings and caves – spirtual sites, places of shelter and ritual – hidden treasures marked ‘x’ on the exhibition site map. Out of bounds yet unprotected, visitors clambor blindly across this sacred land. In an act of resistance, the stone x is placed on the earth, making physical the overlooked presence, anchoring present and past. Formed in the manner of a hand-made mark – one line crossing the other, the x-figure recalls the anonymous signatures on early settler and government land deeds taking indigenous territory and rights. x seeks not to dominate the monumental landscape nor compete with the architecture and large-scale sculptures that master the foreshore. It embraces diminuitive scale in title and form. Like a nascent movement, curiosity draws visitors one-by-one to carefully explore. Up-close the dark stone reflects the ancient sandstone foundations and heats and cools with the landscape, a light foot-print with a small shadow that multiples in the hot summer sun.