John B. Mors



"Fish". Steel. 1990.
Collection: George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Fish is based on the X-ray drawings produced by the Australian Aborigines of the Arnhem Land / Kakadu region of the Northern Territory of Australia. The distinguishing feature of these drawing is the method of displaying the internal organs of the animal represented.

Fish is based on the drawing of the Barramundi fish of Obiri Rock.

The fish sculpture was intended to be the first of a series of sculptures that was never realized. However, when re-examining the sculpture 10 years after it was made, I realize how much that imagery has influenced the architectural images that I produce.

I was raised on a street that had an aboriginal rock engraving of a kangaroo at its end. In 1979, I traveled to the Northern Territory for the express purpose of seeing Aboriginal Rock art, and subsequently have seen most of the major Australian Aboriginal rock art sites. So, Australian Aboriginal rock art has been an essential part of my art education. It is therefore, inevitable that it should influence the way that I perceive objects.

This is a common occurrence in art, where unintended influences often shape the final object.

Further Information:
  • For a thorough analysis of Australian Aboriginal Culture:
    Berndt, Ronald M. and Berndt, Catherine. H. The World of the First Australians: Aboriginal Traditional Life: Past and Present. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra 1988. ISBN: 0 85575 184 3.
  • For information regarding Australian Aboriginal Rock Art:
    Walsh, Grahame, L. Australia's Greatest Rock Art. Robert Brown and Associates, Bathurst, Australia 1988. ISBN 1 86273 013 X.

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