163 Dice, 175 pebbles and sand

Size: 1500 mm x 1630 mm

Collection: Frank Kilgour

Assistant: Martin Boshoff

Druid's Keyboard II

  • Druid’s keyboard I was made in 1997 and consists of 36 ‘pebbles’ shaped from 36 species of wood. This older work makes reference to the 26 letters in the Roman alphabet and the numbers 1 to 10.


    The pebbles in Druid’s keyboard II are real pebbles. They were carefully identified as having special qualities amongst fields of other pebbles I picked up on many walks in different parts of the world. Pebbles are in essence aquifacts, objects formed by water action. They begin as clasts, newly broken stones of angular morphology. Some clasts land in waterways and over millions of years journey to places far from their origin, changing their shapes and textures as they are tumbled and chafed. When I hold a pebble in my hand, I hold a seasoned traveller, its marks and unique shape clearly visible from the journey – a bit like individual persons. We also travel all the time and may land up in places far from where we were born, shaped and formed by circumstance.


    Reasons why pebbles could be considered to be special:

    • Resembling other objects (one pebble in Druid’s keyboard 2, for example, perfectly resembles a small potato)
    • Unusual colouring or texture.
    • Perfect geometrical formation. Most pebbles are somewhat oblong or distorted and to find one that is perfectly round is very rare.
    • An interesting linear configuration. Some pebbles show a graphic component caused by an intrusion of igneous rock between or through existing sedimentary formations.
    • Grooves etched into the surface where softer stone was eroded. It is especially rewarding to find pebbles in desert areas, prehistorically shaped and grooved at the time of pantalassa, the earth’s prehistoric sea. It would be impossible for th