Question Please by Josh Olley is currently on display outside ARTIS Gallery
Question Please was sculpted from a large boulder found near Wanaka. This particular stone is Piemontite. It would have been once sediment on the sea bed millions of years ago, then as a schist it was caught up in the uplifting tectonic plates in the southern alps, extreme heat and pressure has morphed it into a very hard durable stone.
Piemontite: Pied (Foot), Mont (Mountain) is ironically (as the name implies) found in the foothills of the southern alps of New Zealand.
It occurs in a narrow band through the Mount Aspiring National Park. Being unique to this area it is rarely seen and even more rarely seen worked in art.
Once sediment under the sea, nearby submarine volcanic vents deposited manganese, giving it the purple colour, also the green type which is high in Chlorine mineral. The sedimentary layers can be seen like pages in a book, Mica is the sparkling mineral seen from the face of the stone.
Glacial Erratic boulders: During the early glacial advances, of which there have been several, chunks of rock were knocked off outcrops in the mountains and trapped in moving glaciers.
The boulders would have traveled for thousands of years in the ice, grinding against other rocks as they went. When the ice age receded, they may have sat there for thousands of years again, until another ice advance carried them further down the valley.
When the glacier receded, the boulders were left far from where they started, in a place they didn’t belong. They’re called “glacial erratic’s” – fitting, since the Latin root, errare, means “to wander”.
Question Please, Piemontite Stone, 1.8m high, Signed (image cropped)