Bill Vazan is a leading figure in Canadian Land Art, a movement that evolved in the 1960s and promotes the use of natural materials. These sculptures belong to a series of standing stones (menhirs) started in the 1970s. The patterning Vazan has added to the rocks reflects their origins in the Canadian Shield: the engraving on Black Nest evokes a pit teeming with snakes; the spirals in Water Planet conjure whirlpools. Vazan draws from both modern and ancient sources of inspiration, including modern mathematical language, the megaliths of Western Europe, the symbolic motifs of the Aztecs of Mexico and the petroglyphs of the Adena and Hopewell civilizations of the northeastern United States. His arrangement of these symbols lends an air of mystery to both works.