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.

see media
  • title:
    Nine Elements
  • accession number:
    GMA 2761
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Mixed media on wood relief
  • date created:
    1963
  • measurements:
    259.00 x 182.80 cm (framed: 259.00 x 192.00 x 8.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1983
  • copyright:
    © Joe Tilson. All Rights Reserved. DACS, London 2019
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Joe Tilson

Joe Tilson