gary deirmendjian selected works

lantern 2004 - 06



click for album



:::: 4.7m (height) x 9m x 9m - square outer footprint
:::: functional fire pit located centrally
:::: sandstone [Wilton, NSW], steel reinforced concrete under-structure
:::: 16 blocks of stone, all purpose quarried and shaped
:::: over 120 tonnes [stones only]
:::: private commission, Stanton Family, Mount Gibralter, Mittagong [Southern Highlands], NSW

special acknowledgements:

Troy and Sam Stratti ... it was their personal introduction, quarry and capability that led to lantern. Rocco Versace [quarry manager] was of invaluable assistance.


artist statement

While its purpose may remain a mystery, lantern is clearly architectural in intent.

In plan view the upright stones dot out a square footprint, the corners of which are established by the four larger freestanding steles. In between the corner steles and along each facade stand centrally positioned trilithons, forming a four-way entry arch into the work.

The stones carry a record of heavy scarring from quarrying, shaping and handling processes, and the overall established height is level at nearly three times human height.

The negative spaces in between the stones carry similar form to the crudely shaped upright stones, providing a segmented view of the panorama of distant mountains, the sky and nearby foliage.

Located centrally within the work, is the fire pit.

At night when the fire is lit the negative spaces including the open roof - often star studded - absorb the light into their blackness, while the stones hold it at bay. The work is suddenly transformed into a flickering cave scenario when standing inside. Viewed from afar however the work could easily be deemed a lantern.

I have vivid recollections of our candle lit home during the frequent blackouts experienced as a child in Soviet Armenia. I recall in particular the stability of dark doorways, standing in sharp contrast to the unpredictable flickering of walls. Those tempting portals that seemed to lead directly into infinite blackness.