A visually engulfing and diverse piece, Joe Tilson’s Nine Elements uses a wooden relief with acrylic, pearl and candy paint, to represent those elements that make up mass media pop culture. Tilson uses defined iconography that visually absorbs the viewer through its differentiation within the symmetrically structured borders of the wooden relief. It is a piece that allows the observer freedom to use the representative symbols of senses and concepts present in our every day life to take their own meaning of the piece.
Joe Tilson’s Nine Elements, produced in 1963, is created on a massive scale at 259 cm in height and 182.80 cm across. It was purchased in 1983 by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One, and has resided there since. Nine Elements consist of a wooden relief separated into a three-by-three matrix with paintings and wooden cut outs of everyday symbols representing abstract, sense and concepts, and three tower of flame above them painted using bright candy paint. As previously mentioned the objects depicted within the three by three grid represent conceptual elements of everyday life such as sight, sound, hearing, touch, time, and chance. The eye with glasses in the top left corner represents sight and to create this sense, Tilson, used a picture of his own eye as a model for his painting. By utilizing the media of photography, a tool that has the power to preserve in time (another one of his elements) our visual sense, he is commenting on the change in