14 Pieces is a collaboration between two artists, husband and wife Hossein and Angela Valamanesh. It was commissioned by the Adelaide City Council and stands where the former fountain honouring Sir John Lavington Bonython once was.
The work’s organic and textural forms are based on the opalised fossilised vertebrae of the Ichthyosaur in the South Australian Museum. The Ichthyosaur was a marine reptile, similar to a dolphin, that lived more than 100 million years ago. It possibly lived in the Eromanga Sea once in central Australia.
In front of the North Wing of the South Australian Museum, the fountain represents “notions of excavation, reconstruction and conservation”. The constantly recycled water signifies the passing of time. It is common to see children, and the occasional duck, using the fountain for fun or some much-needed relief in the summer.
Hossein Valamanesh was born in Iran in 1949 and migrated to Australia in 1973. In 1977 he graduated from the South Australian School of Art. Since then he has had national and international commissions and exhibitions. He created this work with his wife, South Australian-born Angela Valamanesh. Her art often expresses the ties between plants, animals and humans.