Nine Elements
© Joe Tilson. All rights reserved, DACS 2015

Reference URL

Nine Elements 1963

On Display Modern One

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.

Glossary Open


A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.



  • Acc. No. GMA 2761
  • Medium Mixed media on wood relief
  • Size 259.00 x 182.80 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1983