toshiaki tomita


The Book of the Rocks / Book 1.

life-size drawing of rocks and stone tools in sketch book. inspired and developed from Artist in Residence ILIRI, NSW, Australia. 2008.

click on the book to flip the pages

This is a book of the rocks in the process of transformation — by the agencies of wind, heat, cold, rain, chemical and human hands — found and depicted in life-size drawing by myself, when I was staying at ILIRI (Imagining the Land International Research Institute). ILIRI is an artist in residency at the UNSW Fowler’s Gap Arid Zone Research Station located in far western NSW. A small tin hut (called the Ochre House) one hour drive from the main research station, was my base for my 2 weeks residency. This residency consisted of exploring images of rocks and stones and the types of stories they inspire.

Initially, I started to draw the natural rocks in their locations. Soon my focus turned towards what my ILIRI’s director called rock tools. Drawings of 1000 rock tools transformed into 1000 moments in dialogue. I soon came to recognize several strong characters mapped over various tools — a cartography that seemed unlikely to be caused by different usage. For me, these marking seemed to refer to specific skills or preferences of several individuals; in a flash these particular hunters appeared in this place they had once lived — now a so-called no man’s land (terra nullius).

Each page in this book shows the difference between random / order, irregular / regular and natural rocks / artifacts — a story about the rock tools, in the infancy of technology, which had been handed down from fathers to sons for centuries and millenniums. This image of rocks, is also a book about fathers and sons; a notion that inspired the project “Heart Mountain”.

The Book of the Rocks” will turn the page to the next chapter which is derived from stone age techniques and yet part of the genealogies of technologies we see and experience today.