Anthony Bernulf Hodge
Skyfield Studio
Sculpture Gallery 1 2 3

More writings about sculpture 1 and 2

Can you explain in more detail about the ideas behind these two sculptures -

Sculpture no. 1 - 'The Dice of Humanity'.

Inspired from this quotation' - God does not play dice with the universe'.

This famous quotation by Albert Einstein from the 1940's was apparently modified at a later date when he went on to say 'God does not play dice with the Earth'. On reading this my immediate thought was - but we are !

I am not a gambling man per se, but liked the symbolisms involved with Einsteins use of the dice, and quite quickly envisaged a sculpture which could portray the idea that it is our humanity that appears to be the one who is playing dice with planet Earth.

People say that gambling can become addictive, and I would suggest the explosion of our energy consuming lifestyle which we have now created is also addictive, with all it's consequences.

Coalbrookdale by night' by Philip James de Loutherbourg. 1801. (Public domain image)

I recalled seeing evocative paintings of the Bedlam Iron Works titled 'Coalbrookdale by night' painted by Philip James de Loutherbourg in 1801 from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Of course this revolution led on to many more tall chimney stacks that pumped out vast clouds of toxic smoke which engulfed our towns and cities, first here in the UK and then across the developing world.

Those heavy engineering iron works, which beat out ever increasing quantities of industrial goods, I think is suitably represented by this one heavy metal vice, which no craftsman or engineer would have been without. It even has the word 'RECORD' cast like a stamp on one side, an image as if to remind us just what this industrial revolution has achieved.

In the last 100 years, technologically speaking, we have come a long way, but in the progress humanity has to acknowledge just how much damage has been done to our environment, with all the accompanying consequences.

We humans pride ourselves as being the one species on this planet that has the ability to consciously predict the consequences of our actions, and perhaps of equal importance, the consequences of our non actions.

Today, in gambling terms, the odds appear to be not that good, as people still seem to want to roll dice for short term profit, and not acting for our longer term interests and sustainability.

We know through museum fossil records just how many species have disappeared in the past, who were not able to adapt sufficiently fast when it became necessary to do so. Life must be self sustaining. When changes become necessary species have to adapt to survive. The balance of nature is critical. It is a system that is irrevocably interwoven, and where everything is interconnected. When we upset this system to such a degree, it is like those dark polluted spots on the dice which are now weighted out of balance, and when continuously thrown could eventually lead us into uncharted waters. If we do not find new ways to pull together and change direction.

Sculpture no. 2 -

In the second sculpture titled - 'Critical Mass', The Dice of Humanity, I felt it was important to offer a more positive message in terms of facing these important challenges.

For me it really comes down to what people believe and what they think is possible. Maybe it might profit us to see what can be done at our local level. Much has been written on the internet to help, support and encourage local initiatives around the world.

I am reminded that in ancient Greece people were once inspired by 'Iris' the Goddess of the sea and the sky. She is said to be the personification of the rainbow. Iris replenished the rain clouds from the waters of the sea and with the help of the sun god Helios, the ancient Greeks believed each day new life was brought to our world.

What is it that can inspire us today, that would enable us to reach that 'critical mass' and tip the balance in our favour?

Perhaps Albert Einstein should have the final word - 'The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the level of thinking that created them'.

Anthony B Hodge. 14.8.15

Download the above writings in pdf
Some further notes for Teachers that could be adapted to suit young people of all ages, in the hope it will make their viewing the two sculptures more fun and interesting, when they visit the exhibition at Coventry Cathedral (September to November 2016).


Sculpture Gallery 1 2 3