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When The Moon Split

Mixed media including fibreglass, resin, Idenden and sand
Two hemispheres, each approximately 217 (diameter) x 130 cm.
Collection of Al markhiya Gallery, Qatar

From the very earliest civilisations, human beings have stood on the earth and looked upward at the night sky, to see the moon lit up by the sun. They have weaved the moon into their mythologies and archetypes, investing it with symbolism, and looked to it for meaning. These earliest fables, often told to us in stories and religious texts in childhood, take a particular root in our imagination and follow us through life.

When the Moon Split takes as its starting point the Quranic story of a miracle performed by Mohammed. When called on by the Quraysh to show them a sign to justify his faith, he caused the moon to split in two halves, sowing wonder and horror among all who witnessed it. I have been fascinated by the drama and mystery of this event, how it harnesses the power of the moon in the service of belief, but also by the sheer visual spectacle it presents to the imagination.

When the Moon Split evokes this original story, whilst also confronting us with the purely secular frissons more commonly associated with science fiction and Hollywood films. A planetary body suspended in the gallery space, it re-enacts the nightly confrontation of the viewer with this heavenly body, poetic, awesome, yet momentarily tangible, and playful.

When The Moon Split