International Sculpture Day – Alexandra Carr’s Solaris Nexum

Solaris Nexum

Heat in the void.

Vulcan’s golden seat of chaos wrestles itself. Isolated, this seemingly unending maelstrom of fury hangs in the darkness, illuminating its primordial cousins. The burning orb’s glare reveals everything in its wake, dashing dreams of secrecy.

The blades of destruction that reach out over aeons, glint with creation.

Sparks of potential float in the ether, effortlessly nudging insignificant flecks and mineral cathedrals into the vast continuum. Charged seeds collide with immoveable quanta, their union the launch of infinite possibilities. A volatile age of renewal writes its code many times over, correcting and overcorrecting the traces of dawns past, arriving where fragile breath begins.

We form structured clusters of tenderness while invisible threads gently bind us into a secure embrace. We feel the power of our origins. We look to the earth, the water, the curve of the horizon. We observe. What is beyond nautical twilight? We touch the dirt and taste the sea, but cannot grasp the celestial sphere. We can’t tame the elusive timekeeper, so we frame it.

We build houses to obey its rhythmic whims. Poised with childlike anticipation, we praise the instant the ray-maker gilds our monolith of permanence. We rotate around our axis mundi, faithfully existing in cyclic ritual.

Revolutions pass, stone crumbles, stories are mistold, directions diverge and we are adrift in the forest. The stars, once our guidelight home, are veiled by the canopy. Lost, we pause a while, we ponder. Our curiosity holds us captive in the maze we’ve stumbled into.

The pause becomes permanent.

In this opaque bubble, we polish, we tinker, we create, we invent. We make a marvel of our cage and, through colour-splitting trinkets, we build a fortress of truths. We have conquered the outer sphere and become Gods of our own making.

Masters of our domain, we delve into worlds unknown, through a happenstance lens; infinite turtles for the taking. Euphoric in our splendour, we chart virgin territories in the name of reason. We label, sample and cage. We dig. Dig for explosive jewels. Hypnotic, magnetic, deathly jewels, oozing from below, setting us free. We no longer touch the earth, we soar like birds. We spread, speed up and multiply. We jostle for a roosting spot in the thick, black air, clambering over each other to keep our hearts beating. We falter. Gold flakes fall from our robes and turn to ash on the rotten wasteland.

Where did our home go? We are the rulers of this land. Did we do this? Mute with shame, we are paralysed.

The daylight is shrouded by the acrid smoke. We are choking.  Some survive the Minotaur as we crawl from the charred remains of the forest. Refugees of our own undoing, we build simple dwellings, looking back at our lost friends, speaking in tongues in their seductive prison, barely recognisable and oblivious to the madness they have succumbed to. Shapeshifters who have passed their own sentence, refusing to flee their city, burning ferociously, inching outwards towards us; the ghost custodians too idle to quench the fire.

An enemy of time, we build vessels of hope to follow a whisper on the wind of a land so still you can hear the hum of the world – a realm of glistening beacons swaying silently in gentle adoration. Soon the days will shine brighter until the sky is ablaze. We will be gone when the inferno consumes our marble, two primitives merging into delicious chaos before the tale is sucked into oblivion.

We have a slither left.

Every fragment of star stuff within us, aches to feel the pulse of the timeless and yearns for the wisdom of the cosmos. We are humble in our voyage forwards while safe in a blanket of contended, respectful unknowing.


Solaris Nexum explores our changing connection to the sun through technological shifts of various ages. Through a double-sided surface of suspended mirrors, Solaris Nexum is a helical structure projected onto catenary arches, allowing continually changing reflections in response to the shifting light.

Carr approaches celestial architecture, advances in optics, and renewable energy as paradigm-shifting technologies, drawing together periods of human history with a potential future for humankind.

The sculpture serves as a monument to solar connection through the ages of technology, encourages us to retain a respect for nature and to intelligently live in harmony with its resources, moving towards a technologically symbiotic age. Carr invites us to look both inwards and outwards to embrace all spheres of being into one harmonious whole.


Supported by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Colin Rennie, CConsult, Renée Pfister Art & Gallery Consultancy, London, Architectural Metalworkers Ltd, Ormiston Wire Ltd, Bay Plastics Ltd, Abseil Access Ltd, W.H.Scott and Son Engineers Ltd, Constantine. Images ©Alexandra Carr. Image 4: ©Ste Murray