Joe Tilson

Nine Elements

About this artwork

The structure of this wooden relief is reminiscent of a children's learning game. The underlying theme of Nine Elements, and of much of Tilson's work of this date, is language and communication and the relationship between words and symbols. The combination of images and styles invites the viewer to decode or invent a meaning. The images suggest a variety of senses and concepts: touch, sight, sound (vox is Latin for 'voice'), hearing (the shape on the bottom right represents an ear), time and chance. The bespectacled eye at the top right derives from a photograph of Tilson himself.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Nine Elements
  • date created:
    1963
  • materials:
    Mixed media on wood relief
  • measurements:
    259.00 x 182.80 cm (framed: 259.00 x 192.00 x 8.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1983
  • accession number:
    GMA 2761
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Joe Tilson

Joe Tilson