In Lubben Park, next to “Harrow” is the two-part sculpture “Journey to Sirius.” I thought it looked like early video game characters – specifically giant Space Invaders – but the artists’ plaque says it was inspired by Dogon Art and Architecture.
JOURNEY TO SIRIUS
by George Smith
Inspired by the art and architecture of the traditional African society known as The Dogon in the West African Republic of Mali, “Journey to Sirius” incorporates two monumental structures formed of welded steel plates addressing one another diagonally across a bed of black rock.
“For more than ten years I have been producing sculptures inspired by The Dogon. This fascinating African society resides in a spectacular rocky region of the Republic of Mali called the Bandiagara Escarpment. The Bandiagara cliffs stretch for 125 miles parallel to the Niger River with many sections reaching a height of 2,000 feet. It is these steep, rocky cliffs that brought about the ideas used in the creation of ‘Journey to Sirius’.
On the face of the cliffs, The Dogon create their art and architecture, which consists of carvings and drawings representing mythical ancestors that are part of their elaborate cosmology, including the mythical star, Sirius.
The geometrical surfaces of the two super structures in ‘Journey to Sirius’ are an interpretation of the natural geometry found on the face of the Bandiagara cliffs and represent matter; while the sculptural forms that cantilever from the structures represent spirit and were inspired by the cliff paintings and high relief carvings found on the cliff dwellings of the Dogon.”