A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the purported physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with religious figures. – Wikipedia.
My sculpture is a vessel- a spacecraft, a portal, a reliquary. Like many Religious objects its serves as a nexus, a transport between Earth and Heaven. I have long thought of mans forays into space as a kind of membrane piercing journey into the Spiritual- the body released of its Earthly mass and transcended into the Heavens.
This reliquary for the precious moon rock it houses within its glass dome, elevates a Mechanical Machine to the status of a Religious Relic and parodies and challenges the Christian Churches claim on the heavens. The Latin Inscriptions incorporated within the artwork are direct translations of Nasa Radio Transcripts with the Astronauts during the moon landing.
Christian belief in the power of relics, the physical remains of a holy site or holy person, or objects with which they had contact, is as old as the faith itself and developed alongside it. Relics are much more than mementos. The New Testament refers to the healing power of objects that were touched by Christ or his apostles. The body of the saint also provided a spiritual link between life and death, between man and God:
Reliquaries are the containers that store and display relics. These precious objects constituted a major form of artistic production across Europe and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages.
I have long thought of mans recent tentative forays into space as a kind of membrane piercing journey into the Spiritual- the body released of its Earthly mass and transcended into the Heavens. The Mechanical Machine is here elevated to the status of a Religious vessel or Relic, and playfully parodies and challenges the Christian Churches self aggrandising, absurd and pompous assertions as the sole arbiter of the gateways to the Heavens.
However Science it seems can be – at least in its interpretation- as subjective as Faith, given the human condition and our ability to spin language, test results, findings, and hypothesis – every which way. It seems the questions we ask , might more assuredly determine our truth than the answers we find. After all the Lunar landing was only a telling blow in the ‘Cold War/Space Race’ between Russia and the United states. Science and technology in the service of mankind’s pursuit of ideological superiority.
Across these divides, the Sacred and Profane, the pursuit of Objective Truth and the lines of Scientific Enquiry- itself determined and compromised to an extent by conflicting Human and Political Interests- my recent Studio output would I believe create a compelling and challenging exhibition that essentially asks what happens when Art, Science and Religion Collide.
Dale Cox 2017
By striking a careful balance between the sacred and the sacrilegious, the sculptures and paintings of Dale Cox reveal uncomfortable truths about human belief and knowledge. As we emerge out of the darkness, Cox confirms the irreconcilable rift that forever separates belief in material objects and belief in God.
Simon Gregg Curator Gippsland Regional Art Gallery 2014