Turtles All The Way Down

Rachel Sager "Turtles all the way down" mosaic sculptureJune 2012

18″h x 17″w x 11″d

Materials: Pennsylvania sandstone, limestone, Italian smalti, 24-karat gold smalti, copper ring, box turtle shell, mirror glass, sandstone block, metal rod

Artist Statement

The enduring, archetypal myths often span millennia, cross continents, and transcend religions. The myth of the world-bearing turtle comes down to us from the far reaches of India, China, and Native America. The image of a giant tortoise holding up the world is a powerful image even now that we know the truth about gravity and the universe. The obvious question one asks after accepting that the turtle is the supporting agent of our world is… “then what holds up the turtle?” It’s turtles all the way down, silly!

This interactive sculpture was quite a challenge to build. From the start, I knew I wanted my globe to spin. It took some figuring, but I eventually mounted it on a sturdy metal rod. The globe spins silently with a gentle push. Now it just needs a fine library to endure in….