EVERY STONE TELLS A STORY
At the time of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, posters of the iconic sceptre with its enormous gem stone appeared around London proclaiming Every stone tells a story.
This project set out to discover the story not told
In the official version the largest diamond in the world was found in 1907 at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa and given by the Afrikaans government to King Edward VII for his birthday. Cut in Amsterdam into nine pieces, the two biggest form part of the crown jewels. The Large Star of Africa on the sceptre and the Lesser Star on the crown.
The Boer War ended with English victory. Why did the defeated Afrikaners present their bitter enemy with this extravagant offering?
After the Boer War the British granted dominion to the white minority and the Union of South Africa formed in 1910. The Afrikaans government then passed the Land Act disenfranchising black South Africans paving the way for apartheid. Was the diamond a price paid?
Setting off in the spirit of true adventure, I went in search of the diamond and the story. Arriving in Cullinan I managed to coopt a micro-light flyer. Diverting from the usual tourist attractions, I took a different route and found myself flying over a very large hole.
Video: Micro-light flight over Cullinan Mine
The John Hansard Gallery (Winchester) Installation views 2013
sculpture and video
STICKS AND STONES a history play in five acts
PROJECT: Risk Actor
Actor and archival photographic stills projected through a perspex rod