Alpa Camasca in the Inca language literally means living body or animated earth. This was a civilization which saw the human species as part of the earth and as something from which it was born, not a separate entity as is so often the case in the Western world.

This piece was made in a dodecahedral shape and at first sight seems to be from a past epoch, a treasure dug up from the depths of the earth. In Platonic times this dodecahedral shape was mystically associated with the ordering of the cosmos. In modern times it reflects the mathematical model of our universe as suggested by cosmologist Jean Piere Luminet and colleagues (‘Nature’ 2003).

Each of the twelve pentagonal sides depicts the exact features of real iconic fossils of different phyla, each representing an iconic branch in the evolutionary tree. On the top we see a skull of Homo Habilis, an ancient hominid and beneath, on the opposite side, the fossil remains of stromatolites, the earliest known bacterial colonies. Some sides represent the ancestors of species that still exist today, others depict lineages that have become extinct.

The shape could also been seen as a celestial dice where some species will be allowed a temporary existence, while others will die out. Call it the game of life in which the earth playfully experiments with new forms. When conditions on the earth change rapidly as is the case now, the survival of many species depends more on chance events, and we are being forced to adapt to environmental changes. Alpha Camasca could indeed be the earth’s imaginary crystal ball.



2015 – 2016  –  Bronze  –  90cm diameter