Daniel II: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
In this piece, Child portrays the shattered giant from the Biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Nebuchadnezzar sees a great image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. The giant is destroyed by a “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” which becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth.
The Hebrew wise man Daniel interpreted the dream to mean that successive kingdoms, represented by the different pieces of the giant, would rule the earth until the kingdom of God was established to rule forever. Child believed God’s kingdom was begun with the founding of the LDS Church.
Child spent over two years working on this monument. The large boulder at the top of the mount represents the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands.” Child found this 32-ton stone near Willard. He hired a 16-wheel truck to haul it to the Union Pacific Railroad yards. There it was raised with a crane onto a scaffold of railroad ties. The stone was then brought to the garden and tipped from the scaffold onto a set of concrete piers that Child built. Child filled in the area around the piers with dirt to create the mount.
Child spent weeks searching for stones of different colors to match the description of the giant’s body in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. “The more natural and interesting the stone, the better,” Child wrote. The stones were sketched with the oxyacetylene torch to create the body parts, sometimes with unexpected results. “The light streaks through the face did not show up until we burned it.” Child explained. “I feel, however, that this adds interest to the object.”