Julia Robinson’s Some to the stone is a compelling body of work first exhibited at La Trobe Regional Gallery, Gippsland (Victoria) in September 2012. These sculptural works investigate the notion of superstition and explore some lesser known superstitions trying to make sense of the complex human need to trust things beyond our power, to take meaning from nothingness and find comfort in language, ritual and gesture.
‘Superstition features prominently throughout history in all cultures, as humans have long attached significance to items and rituals that can logically have no real power of their own. While many simple superstitions survive today (including touching wood to stave off ill events or avoiding black cats), these commonplace practices sit alongside long forgotten beliefs that are decidedly more obscure and elaborate, although still grounded in the everyday.
‘The work in Some to the stone explores European and Scandinavian superstition, including the belief that witches could transform into trees and use their branches to milk the cows in a barn or drive an axe into a doorpost to bring forth milk via the axe.
‘Although the works in Some to the stone draw on various specific superstitions, they do not seek to recreate or illustrate them. I am interested in how the work can speak of protection, the talisman, the use of magical symbols and the occult without being tied down to one interpretation.
‘Ultimately it is important to me that my works don’t appear to criticise the practice of superstition or the beliefs surrounding witchcraft but rather draw on their rich, fascinating history.’ – Julia Robinson 2012