Musician, jeweler, and glass artist, as well as much-awarded sculptor, Adrian Wall is equally accomplished in all those different mediums, which is truly astonishing. Here, he has put on his acclaimed sculpture hat, creating a dramatic abstraction while using traditional symbols. There are three different stones used for the sculpture, with a fourth for the hand-carved base.
The jagged lightning sign is carved from peachy-pink sandstone; the top is smoothed, while the sides are roughened, to convey the instantaneous power of a flash of lightning as it hurtles toward the earth. The luminous white marble form in the center is stepped at the top and curved into a curl at the bottom, symbolizing rain, wind, and clouds. The misty patches of pale grey matrix suggest passing wisps of clouds, moving with the wind.
Next to it, a densely solid piece of black African Wonderstone is also stepped and curved, echoing the shapes of the white marble. The two shapes almost fit into each other, allowing the space between them to create another, negative shape. Polished, and deliciously smooth to the touch, these forms contrast with each other, and with the energetic sandstone lightning bolt, in color and texture. Rain results in rejoicing in the arid high desert, encouraging thriving crops, so this handsome piece symbolizes happiness, good health, and prosperity.
These forms are firmly anchored to a base of polished black granite, which echoes, and offers a subtle contrast to, the African Wonderstone ( so called because it is naturally grey-blue, but turns black when polished). Its minute flecks also accord with the white marble’s cloudy matrix. Using a completely different stone for the lightning fork suggests the vivid contrast that lightning makes in the stormy sky.
Despite the drama of angular forms and sharp contrasts, the effect of the sculpture is interesting and pleasingly calm, as befits the blessing of rain. The age-old symbols are depicted with contemporary creativity and remarkable skill by this multi-talented artist.