Heaven’s Gatepost is an exhibition of large steel sculpture that evokes objects of religious devotion, science fiction futuropolis and authoritarian architectural furnishing, the upmarket trappings of an urban renaissance littered with fragmented space debris.
Displayed as a tableau exploring the mystical relationship between physical artefacts and deeply held belief, spiritual or political, of things that reinforce the illusions of power and control. Conversely, these objects could also appear, more optimistically, as idyllic garden features, complete with a Fountain of Knowledge.
There is also the look of a pop-Gothic dystopian engineering project, the kind of design that dogma produces, adopted by leaders of cults and factions, their doctrines having a recognizable and saleable image.
Like the cult organization Heavens Gate, from where the title comes, a persuasive UFO religious millennium group who committed mass suicide in 1997; they believed this would enable them to transcend a doomed earthbound existence by transportation to an alien spacecraft trailing the comet Hale-Bopp, so achieving a higher spiritual state.
The Gateposts symbolise a passage from the physical and sensory to a transcendent or spiritual realm, but can also represent perceptions of access, security, or exclusion. This device, as a link to another world, and a physical architectural presence contrast with the asymmetrical forms of meteorites scattered about the installation.
Meteorites are the only bodies from outside our atmosphere to ever land on the planet, they are also the oldest things on earth and provided the first iron objects, long before smelting was discovered. They have been viewed as harbingers and omens from the heavens giving them a mystical significance, housed in reliquaries and displayed in ceremonies.
Some of the sculpture resembles shrines and reliquaries that house revered objects, venerated as receptacles of belief, acting as an actual link or intersession with the sacred. Made from recycled steel, these Gothic Revival style repositories borrow from the Industrial Revolution mass produced transportable colonial buildings, churches and ironwork decor, designed for missionary service.
This arrangement of disparate elements and themes is experienced by wandering through the installation like an emporium for austere and exotic furniture, ornaments and features whose purpose and meaning is ambiguous, but none the less provoking.