Impermanent environmental projects:
‘Gilded dry stone walls’: Treasure and Treasure. When researching this work I discovered that the stone used in the dry stone walls in this area is called forest marble. Formed over millions of years. On closer inspection, there are many small fossils in the stones. The stone formed as sand deposits layered up by tidal drifts, capturing sea life in the layers of sand, that over time fossilised as the land mass changed. Each time I spot these fossil, it feels like finding treasure. At the same time, I discovered that Marconi discovered tiny amounts of gold in sea water.
Fossil finds and precious metal, both may be viewed as treasure. This link formed my thinking behind this project. To make visible the traces of seawater gold, and allow those traces to become invisible again. In other words, fade and weather away over time. When viewed, the gold initially attracted the eye, Some who saw the gilding on the walls and who looked a little closer, discovered the small fossils behind and around the weathering gold. Treasure and Treasure.
‘The gilded orchard’
Weaving shapes against the fading light: I made this in response to watching nesting birds busying themselves making a home to raise their young. It’s by no means a nest, but I was aware of myself sketching a pattern with the vine material against the sky.
Portland stones: This came about when I was researching chesil beach stones and how stones are moved along the coast by longshore drift. The stones are large at the Portland end of the beach and gradually get smaller as you travel down the beach to West Bay. It is said that the smugglers, on a moonless night could tell where they were on the beach by feeling the size of the pebbles. I don’t know how true that is but the diversity stones is what inspired me to make this while at the Portland end of the beach.
I made this hanging leaf piece while exploring movement and shadow for another project. Every year I am struck by the changing colour of the virginal creeper and how it takes just one week to go from green to bare stem. The plant essentially sheds its leaves and rests for the winter. I made several hanging and ground pieces, which I then filmed. below are two still images, on the left one of the hanging pieces and on the left one of the ground pieces. With, below them links to two films.
Below: a mole hill, worm and autumn leaves, which I shaped into a sun flower.
Sometimes the act of making can be very spontaneous, like below. While walking on the beach there was lots of sticks that had been washed up by the tide. There was a dog playing by the sea and the correlation between dog and stick was too much to ignore. Also, as I placed the sticks, I was aware of the depth of field I was generating:
Struck by the wind blown autumn leaves and the whiteness of the sky. Here I’m simply catching the autumn leaves on a washing line.
Below: ‘Toxic Spiral’. I used ragwort which is toxic if eaten by some animals. Old farm post and partially rusted barbed wire.
Below: Having done some research into longshore drift I was inspired to make these beach pieces. The glass pieces once sharp had been worn smooth by the waves.
I was looking into the history of barbed wire, and how its introduction changed the farmed landscape. Particularly in the United States, where farm owners could use the material to fence off their land and hold livestock within their property, alongside, establishing territorial boundaries: