My friend Norman Haddow recently posted a photo of Hagar Qim on his Facebook blog 'Dry Stone Walling’ . It is a massive megalithic temple complex that dates between 3600 and 3200 BCE, the impressive remains of which can be explored on the island of Malta.
The temple complex is a maze-like masterpiece from some forgotten stone world of the past - a rambling conglomerate of ancient architectural shapes and mysterious stone enclosures.
When I first saw the arial photo of this amazing place, my eyes perceived it as a clever arrangement tiny rocks that some model maker had carefully built, so as to fool the viewer into believing such a fantastic stone landscape might actually exist.
But it does exist!
It is strange how stones possess this intriguing capacity to fool the eye. Certainly in terms of scale, something that looks like a huge rock can turn out to be just a small stone, and vice versa.
I decided to explore the theme of misperception, by building a real (though imaginary) small scale facsimile of the ruins, with stones I’d collected from the beach. After I’d created the whimsical 'minilithic' sanctuary, I decided I’d create some tiny monastic order out of plastercine and dot followers around the maze, contemplating the meaning of life
These monks, who belonged to some mysterious stone cult, apparently knew how to move great stones, presumably by yielding to some greater power, namely me.
Their dwelling place and sacred meeting areas, captured in an ethereal way by use of a graphic video app, appear in this short video clip with music by Mozart (interpreted by Chris Botti) in the background.
I imagine someday someone might be fooled into thinking that the stones in the clip are/were not real, but rather merely only 'simulated' through animation. And so stone’s inherent capacity for creating ambiguity of scale and time and reality, continues.
To see the clip you have to go to my Instagram link.