a selection of other works
2007 Between the Lines
‘Between the Lines’ was created from a specially selected 3mx2mx2m red granite glacial
boulder weighing 10 tonnes.
Commenting on his inspiration for the piece, Peter said, ‘ I have always been fascinated by
the patterns found in nature and in recent years have begun to research their origins in
phenomena best understood in terms of physics, chemistry and geometry. The smoothly
undulating but randomly shaped rock has been carved over its entire surface with deep
linear incisions whilst retaining its overall eroded shape’.
Commissioned for Fisher's Square, Cambridge by Grosvenor for the central piece of their
new development, Peter was invited to design the hard landscaping which incorporates his
sculpture, paving design, tree grills and a bench.
2007 Eginja Eriyimba
'Eginja Eriyimba' translates as 'Singing Rock' from Luganda, the language of the Baganda
people of Lolui Island, Uganda where the sculpture is situated.
Early in 2007, the Ruwenzori Sculpture Foundation organised an expedition to the remote
island of Lolui in Lake Victoria, Uganda, of which Peter Randall-Page was a part. Dangerous
and inaccessible, beautiful and mysterious, thanks to its neglected ancient history, Lolui
made the ideal location for a multi-disciplinary, bi-cultural Arts project that needed to find
new yet common ground for all the participants involved.
The island is filled with huge granite boulder clusters, whose organic shapes bring to mind
Peter’s raw material. The Foundation wanted Peter to confront and respond to his poetic
ancestry and, both natural and human, feeling that the spiralling, maze-like Neolithic ochre
paintings found on the rocks would be an inspiration. The Ugandan painter and sculptor,
Peter Oloya, was also chosen to partner him in a quest to create new monuments to the
island and its forgotten cultural inheritance.
Whilst staying on the island an egg-shaped rock that had split almost perfectly into two
attracted Peter’s attention. Its similarity to his earlier works using split boulders seemed
providential and eventually Peter felt that he should make a piece of sculpture to leave his
mark there and express his response to a remarkable place and its extraordinary history.
Peter reacted to the environment, filling sketchbooks, taking photographs, studying patterns
in the skins of reptiles, wings of insects, flowers or fish scales. His interactions with the
musicians, fishermen and children were then shared over campfire discussions. Gradually
Peter developed his experiences and emotions into the carving of the split boulder ‘Eginja
Eriyimba’. Using spiral ochre patterns on the two faces, the concentric ripples echo out from
the core; as much as the ripples of a culture start.
2006 Memorial to Sachem Mahomet Weyonomon
Commissioned by Southwark Cathedral and the Mohegan Tribe, Connecticut. This memorial
is to their Sachem who died in London in 1736 while waiting to present a petition against the
white settlers invasion of their land rites. Carved from a boulder from their tribal lands, it
was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on the 22 November 2006. Peter took as a starting point
the four lobed 'medallion' shape, common in Mohegan culture and representing the
universe, at the summit of the stone and wanted the concentric linear pattern to end up
parallel to the bottom of the stone at ground level. The undulating lines are like trail motifs,
thought to symbolise the path or cycle of life. At ground level, the lines or 'trails' begin by
simply following the contours of the stone, metamorphosing as they rise to the apex, into
the 'medallion' motif with its connotations of the four directions surrounding the space of
'pervasive sprit'. This linear pattern was carved in soft low relief, not only preserving but
enhancing the natural form of the rock. The overall effect is that of the rock rising out of the
ground like the tip of an iceberg, implying that it is the only visible part of a massive form
beneath the ground, giving the sculpture a much greater presence than its actual physical
2006 Mind’s Eye
‘Mind’s Eye’ was commissioned by the Department of Psychology, Cardiff University with
support from Artworks Wales, and is situated on the Tower lecture theatre, Park
Place. Peter has said of this piece ‘Pattern recognition is a powerful characteristic of the
human mind and, over the years, I have explored the boundaries of our ability
to 'read' pattern by combining order and randomness in a series of 2D works.
I have also long been interested in how the human imagination loves to
conjure with symmetrical patterns and have made much work which explores
this phenomenon. I liked the idea of incorporating a number of different kinds
of cognitive illusions in one artwork. The most obvious cognitive game to play
given the nature of the architecture is symmetry. By mirroring an image on
both walls (Rorschach style) the full effect of the pattern would only become
apparent when standing directly outside the entrance’.
2005 Give and Take
The boulder used to form 'Give and Take' was found by chance through one of Peter’s
friends during an excavation dig in Fort William, Scotland and was buried entirely under the
Peter worked directly from the natural, weathered shape of the rock, using its bulges, dips
and peaks to dictate the composition of the sculpture. These irregular qualities appealed to
both his love of organic forms and interest in the role of chance in the natural world.
'Give and Take' also embodies some new themes in Peter’s work, which look at perfection
and order, in particular the geometrical, crystalline shapes found in atoms. This is
symbolised here through the matrix of hexagons and pentagons carved across the stone's
surface, where Peter has in a sense, magnified its molecular structure, to show a precise,
almost mathematical pattern.
Merging the internal and external appearance of the boulder into one, this rock has been
turned inside out, leaving an outer layer or 'skin' that may seem exposed and unprotected.
Its scale and mass give the boulder an enormous sense of presence and physicality,
enlivening the piece, whilst it simultaneously retains a silent presence.
Each of the 630 hexagons and 12 pentagons upon its surface have been carved by hand
using a 'bush hammer', a tool similar in shape to a meat tenderiser, which creates a subtle,
ground effect. This complements the natural undulations of the stone and in a manner,
producing a controlled form of man-made erosion.
This monumental granite sculpture was installed in June 2005 in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is
the centre piece of a new mixed use development known as Trinity Gardens and is located
within an amphitheatre of hard landscaping designed by Peter in collaboration with the
landscape architect Ros Southern.
'Give and Take' won the 2006 Marsh Award for Public Sculpture, selected by PMSA (Public
Monuments and Sculpture Association).
2005 Jacob’s Pillow
‘Jacob’s Pillow’ was commissioned by the Dartington Hall Trust for the historic gardens at
Although not a religious man, as a child Peter was fascinated by the biblical story of Jacob
lying down with a stone for a pillow, and dreaming of a ladder going up to heaven. He
comments, ‘how uncomfortable it must have been!’
After viewing the location intended for the sculpture Peter recognised the potential for it to
function in two quite different ways: from other parts of the garden it forms an alignment
with the topiaried yews known as the Twelve Apostles, while at close quarters it appears to
have an informal and almost casual sitting in relation to the adjacent magnificent oak,
unifying the two areas.
Influenced by the notion that at a distance the sculpture would be glimpsed through the
foliage of the surrounding trees and shrubs, and aware of the dappled light of its location,
dictated for Peter not only its form but also the use of a pale buff or yellow limestone to
shine and glow against the backdrop of dark yew foliage.
‘Sung-Woon' (translated from Korean means constellation or more literally, cloud of stars)
was commissioned especially for the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea and is an example of
the way in recent years, Peter has attempted to combine geometric order with chaotic form,
in order to reveal natural processes from the inside, through understanding their operation
rather than simply their appearance. The eroded boulder is mathematically chaotic being
the result of millions of years of natural erosion. The Fibonacci sequence pattern which is
superimposed onto this random shape relates to growth patterns in plants and has to adapt
and distort to accommodate the random shape of the stone. It is hoped that this work
achieves the kind of balance between order and chaos found in nature, like a constellation
of stars on a random ground.
This two part sculpture celebrates the vision of Joe Turner, who created the Two Moor's
Way, a north-south link between Ivybridge on the southern edge of Dartmoor and Lynmouth
on the North Devon Coast of Exmoor, crossing both national parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor.
‘IIMW’ was formed by cutting a boulder in half and each cut face is a mirror image of the
other. One half is sited at West Anstey as the Two Moor's Way enters the Exmoor National
Park from the south. The other is sited 30 miles away to the south, as the Two Moor's Way
leaves the Dartmoor National Park, 2 miles to the north of Drewsteigtnon. The sculpture was
commissioned by Devon County Council.
2003 Ebb and Flow
'Ebb and Flow' is an enormous granite bowl, 2.4m in diameter and 1.1 m high and weighing
seven tonnes. It is set within a spiral granite path beside the historic Newbury Lock, to which
it is connected by an underground pipe. As the lock mechanism is operated the water in
both lock and sculpture rises and falls simultaneously. The piece was the first work of art in
Newbury's Town Trails, commissioned by Newbury Town Council. ‘Ebb and Flow’ is situated
near the bridge over the canal at the south end of Northbrook Street, open to the public.
2002 The Fullness of Time
This private commission involved reshaping a steep hill into three broad terraces. A series of
three limestone carvings are set into 'coves' in the banks. They are a sequence like three
stages of development from geometric low relief pattern to full blown organic form.
Private collection, Warwickshire. Not open to the public.
2001 Water Garden
This water garden was designed by Peter for a private collector as a permanent location for
two sculptures, 'Willendorf Knot' and 'After Bessie Smith'. Peter also designed a pair of
wrought iron gates as the final element of the scheme.
Private Collection, Oare, Wiltshire. Not open to the public.
2001 Maze at Burghley Sculpture Garden
The turf maze designed by Peter is really a very large drawing which is re-cut into the grass
every year. Burghley Sculpture Garden, Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire.
2000 Inner Compulsion
This large three part work in Kilkenny limestone was commissioned by the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew with financial assistance from the Gulbenkian Foundation. To stand outside
the award winning Millennium Seed Bank (The Wellcome Trust Millennium Building,
Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex) designed by architects Stanton Williams. It was
officially opened by the Prince of Wales in November 2000.
2000 Womb Tomb
‘Womb Tomb’ is formed of two elements in granite, weighing 16 and 25 tonnes respectively.
Truly monumental in scale, the sculpture continues themes that have always occupied Peter:
the relationship between the outside and inside of a form, surface and volume, skin and
In ‘Secret Life I’ & ‘Secret Life IV’ 1994, glacial granite boulders were cut in half, but worked
only on their internal surfaces as if to 'reveal' unexpected forms. ‘Womb Tomb’ is a
development from these, but with the naturally rounded boulder hollowed out to form a
space, large enough for a person to enter. After a long search, Peter Randall-Page found the
right boulder in southern Germany. It was worked at a factory near the quarry. First the
stone was sawn into slices then carved into a series of concentric rings before being
reassembled with lead spacers to replace the material removed by the saw.
The sculpture has a powerful presence. One element lies on the ground, rough and
unworked on the outside but for the regular bands of lead which traverse the surface. Its
interior is formed of soft, deep ribs in concentric curves. The other portion of the sculpture is
sunk into the earth and exhibits the same finely carved internal surface. The huge boulder
appears to reveal two soft and sensuous womb-like voids: one a well and the other a cave.
'Womb Tomb' was acquired by a private collector and permanently sited in 2001. Not open
to the public.
1994 Secret Life I
Rock holds the secret of its own history, which is sometimes revealed to us by the fossils it
may harbour, or by the explosion or the sedimentary layers which might have formed it.
Peter Randall-Page suggests in his ‘Secret Life’ series, of which these boulders form part,
that there is always more within: within us, within a stone, within a body or a shell.
In the first of these sliced and carved Finnish granite rocks Peter has revealed curling lines
which describe a tree: this suggests linear foliage motifs found in Celtic design. In the fourth,
a nest of smaller rocks appears to have been placed, geometrically, within what has become
through his intervention a protective shell - much as crystals grow inside the earth.
There is a marked contrast between the outer, natural boulder, worked through the ages by
glacial erosion, and the inner patterns carved in newly exposed stone. The rough and tumble
of climate and time have done their work on the outside. The artist has made us aware of
these processes, whilst extending our thoughts to the myriad preoccupations, questions and
experiences that he has brought to the sculpture at the point of carving the inside. The
decorative knots and coils of ‘Beneath the Skin’, carved in Kilkenny limestone in 1990 and
1991, showed outer form describing inner possibilities. In the ‘Secret Life' series, this
proposition is reversed.
1991 Beneath the Skin
Peter Randall-Page first came across Kilkenny limestone in the 1970s when he was assisting
in the restoration work of Wells Cathedral. It was used to replace the columns in the arcades
on the cathedral's facade. Blue in colour, this stone gives a wide range of tone and surface
texture depending on the way in which it is worked.
In ‘Beneath the Skin’, as with ‘Ways to Wrap a Stone I’ and ‘II’, the inner force of bulging
shapes indicates the outer membrane. Peter has likened this piece to a yolk sac, revealing
the form from beneath the surface. It also recalls the chrysalis, seed-pod or fruit, forms to
which the artist continually refers.
1990 Ways to Wrap a Stone I & II
These sculptures were made to fit two existing niches in the ruined chapel of the Bishop's
Palace, Lincoln, on the occasion of ‘The Journey’ exhibition in 1990. The tightly and precisely
coiled forms have an organic physicality, conveying a sense of inner energy and the notion of
a force bursting from within.
Ideas of containment and potential release are contrary features in ‘Ways to Wrap a Stone I’
1988 Cone and Vessel (Forest of Dean)
Created on a large scale, these intricate, organic forms are revealed in all their detail and
draw our attention to the tiny fragile shapes that can exist in nature. The sculptures are
placed under their respective trees and reflect the balance in the Dean between deciduous
and coniferous trees. The colour of the Forest of Dean sandstone quarried nearby varies
from pink to green
Peter Randall-Page took as the basis for his works, ‘Cone and Vessel’, the intricate forms of a
pine cone and acorn cup. By enlarging the scale so significantly, the object takes on a surreal
dimension, suggesting giant forest trees. The skilful carving of the fletched acorn cup and the
delicate double spiral of the knobs of the cone draw our attention to the intricate beauty of
tiny things, so that our perception of the vast forest is transformed, and we begin to notice
the minutiae of the forest life, the curious configurations of tree bole and leaf, insect and
bark, lichen and furled bracken which comprise the hidden face of the forest.
1996 Secret Place 1990 | Granite Song 1991 | Waterstone 1992 | Passage 1992
Burrow Stone 1994 | Village Garden 1996
These works were made over a period of six years as part of a commission by environmental
charity, Common Ground. The idea was that Peter Randall-Page worked in and around his
own place in Drewsteignton, north east of Dartmoor in Devon, over 4-5 years, creating
works that responded to the locality, reinforcing and extending the particularity of the place.
This necessitated a continuous dialogue with local people, revealing their knowledge,
perceptions and thoughts about where the works might go. The resulting five sculptures and
a garden are each located in areas that can be accessed by the public, enabling the pieces to
become part of the social generosity of the place.
Made from local materials and embedded in the landscape without signs or plaques, they
have a powerful resonance with place. The hope is that visiting walkers will find that a
conversation with locals will give interesting local insight into the sculptures and that the
people of the place will continue to add their own layers of description, explanation and
myth as the real story-tellers of the locality.
Secret Place Ashburton marble
Located on the Two Moors Way footpath between Drewsteignton and the A30 road.
Granite Song Dartmoor granite
Located on a small island in the middle of the River Teign on private land, but visible from the Two
Moors Way footpath between Drewsteignton and Chagford.
Waterstone Granite boulder and water
Located on the side of a public footpath crossed by a small stream through Rectory Wood between
the Two Moors Way and Hunters’ Path, south of Drewsteignton.
Passage Dartmoor granite and lead
Located at the end of an avenue of mature trees, on either side of a gap in a stone wall, in Whiddon
Deer Park between Chagford and Drewsteignton.
Burrow Stone Granite
Located on a public footpath from Drewsteignton to Burrow Farm
Village Garden Granite and oak bench, granite bird-bath and table, granite and limestone paving,
Located in the village of Drewsteignton