Neil Roberts

Roberts, Neil,

"The Gift"

Wall text, Sydney: St Vincent's Hospital, 2002.

Neil Roberts

The Gift, 2002

Neil Roberts (1954 – 2002)

(completed in loving memory by his wife, Barbara Campbell)

glass objects, steel, glass, wood, acrylic, lambda prints, fibre-optics

If we could measure compassion, the symbolic unit of measurement might be simply a glass of water. In so many circumstances - sickness, thirst, deprivation, crisis - an offering of water is the first expression of caring. The gesture is rich in symbolism, but so is the matter through which we convey our concern

The plain, everyday drinking glass is ubiquitous in hospitals and homes and workplaces. Its commonness renders it both significant and invisible. It is part of that class of objects whose familiarity is so enmeshed with our bodies that we know them not through seeing but through using.

This work looks at the glass of water.

The heavens express the infinite scale of the universe. To some they are a place of their God, to others simply an embodiment of the unknowable. We are made humble by their vastness and are drawn in reverie into their intricacies and patterns. We contemplate ourselves through the veil of their mystery.

This work gazes at the stars.

The Gift aims to express something about the 'slight' in the cosmos and the 'profound' in the everyday.

Neil Roberts

December 2001

Commissioned by the Board of St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney and dedicated to the memory of Neil Roberts.