EVERY STONE TELLS A STORY

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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. Unopposed by the British, the Afrikaans government then passed the Land Act disenfranchising black South Africans paving the way for apartheid. Was the diamond a price paid?  

LANDING

Setting off in the spirit of true adventure, I went in search of the diamond and the story. Arriving in Cullinan I set about coopting 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 

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DISSAPEARING ACT

The John Hansard Gallery (Winchester) Installation views 2013

sculpture and video

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STICKS AND STONES  a history play in five acts

PROJECT: Risk Actor

Actor and archival photographic stills projected through a perspex rod