Work: Pacific Cross
Year: 2007
Construction: Scoria
Size: 620mm x 450mm x 300mm


Chris Charteris has been a prolific maker of jewellery and sculpture since the mid 1980s. In his work he brings together the influence of his Pacific Island heritage and the environment he lives in, communicating its richness, spirit and meaning. The initial inspiration for Pacific Cross was the deep green colour of the bush backdrop of the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail.

To carve the scoria rock, Chris Charteris has used a high tech diamond tool. He has a high regard for the carvers of old who worked in stone or wood without the electric tools that he has today. Charteris works as a direct carver, carving directly into the stone without drawing a pattern on the rock first. His work is spontaneous and the result is akin to ancient rock art, creating a linear pattern rather like freehand drawing. Following his instinctive responses to his materials and his environment, Charteris works in an intuitive manner, examining and exploring his material closely, in order to find and follow, the form it suggests. He experiments with textures and contrasts, exploring ways to use tools and achieve new results.

Pacific Cross is a variation on materials and patterns that Chris Charteris has used regularly in his work. One of the principal elements is his use of forms that have a universality. The cross is such a form. Charteris stamps his individual mark on this stone and form by carving into it a pattern of the Pacific. The markings reference and quote Polynesian designs. Essentially these are incised lines intersecting at differing angles to create patterns that have their genesis in weaving, tattoo and tapa.