The Domination of Things: our second collaboration with artist Alastair Mackie

Lapicida is once again delighted to have been involved in the creation of international conceptual artist Alastair Mackie’s latest piece of work. 

Entitled ‘The Dominance of Things’ this absorbing piece examines how throughout history the cowrie shell has been used across cultures as a form of currency and a symbol of wealth and power.

To create the piece, Alastair painstakingly collected cowrie shells from a local beach over a period of two working days. Together with the Lapicida Technical Design Team, two limestone tablets were created, each with 864 individual precision-cut recesses to house a single corresponding cowrie shell. These were and subsequently offered as a medium of exchange.

The piece was commissioned for a private collection that is positioned on the cliff above the beach where the cowries were collected from. The second panel has been left for the family to fill over time and generations. Each panel measures 102 x 88 x 3cm.

Born in 1977, Alastair has shown his work extensively in the UK and internationally, included in exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery - London, the Venice Biennale, and the Reykjavik Art Museum. He has worked on a number of public commissions including Mimetes Anon, commissioned by the Contemporary Art Society for the Economist Plaza in St.James’ - London in 2009. His work is held in collections including: The Olbricht Collection - Berlin, the Salsali Private Museum - Dubai, and the Wellcome Collection - London. Alastair lives and works in Cornwall.

Alastair’s previous collaboration with Lapicida resulted in a piece for The National Trust and Meadow Arts’ art exhibition at Hardwick Hall. ‘Epitath’ is a Sandstone sculpture that uses 5-axis CNC shaping technology to achieve Alastair’s vision. 

For more information on ‘The Domination of Things’, Alastair Mackie and his other works, please click here.

Lapicida has a strong reputation for working with leading contemporary artists to create objects of impossible beauty. If you are an artist who is interested in collaborating with Lapicida, please contact Harrogate: or London:

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