In these strangest of times…we have been in lockdown since several weeks.
Time takes on a whole other dimension, becomes timeless as the human made structures that normally are pinned to it have fallen by the wayside.
I rarely steer my actions by a clock now, well I was not all that great with the clock before all of this;-).
I tell the time by the bird that sings every morning outside my window, by the blackbird looking over from the apple tree into my tiny black garden shed, by the way the sun moves.
I watch the way clouds travel, friendly neighbours passing, the sky turning orange, purple, indigo before night falls.
I sort of know where the moon comes up and where its travelling to, I pass on naming stars though.
I am carving stones.
I have not carved by hand for a few years.
These carvings are small, no bigger than a football.
The carvings are concerned with my observations of sound and the geological timescale.
Some of you remember that some time ago I explored aspects of light.
Looking back, I approached light with a scientific mindset, trying to understand some of the qualities through architecture and how light effects such structures.
I am looking at sound intuitively perhaps philosophical whilst researching some scientifically based findings alongside.
I am interested in the fact that sound is always present, always has been present and that it is an energy that can alert and emotionally capture us.
Daily sound is the unintentional, uncontrollable byproduct of activity.
For some years now, I am looking for a reason to carve stone.
Do I want to make forms? If so of what?
I enjoy working with the material but found it hard to find a reason worthwhile to pick the chisel up for.
When I worked with light I hoped to find in it another material closely linked to form ‘giving me permission’ to carve forms generated by light.
I found these forms in my carved installation ‘Lumen’ when working from a square as light and shadow projections stay locked to the primary form.
Light itself does not generate form, its present makes visible whatever is there.
The movement of the sun can give us an awareness of time passing (Passing Light/Holocene).
I looked further and discovered sound and how sound moves me and influenced my drawings.
Sound gives form to my imagination which I am hoping will aid me to uncover forms in stone.
I have left and come back to working with stone several times over the past 25 years I see more of its qualities every time I come back as I meet it with new eyes and experience.
Stone has been used ever since humans were able to work it, the earliest found cupules dating back to 300.000 BC.
This hard material resists and holds forms for ‘eternity’ and lends itself to the creation of votive and spiritual forms and sites.
Since the middle ages particular skills and tools have been developed to ensure quick efficient removal and shaping. These skills are being passionately passed on by stone masons and sculptors all over the world.
3-D printing and shaping of stone through CNC is challenging the human skill and vocation as well as enabling projects to develop ambitiously in size and in less time.
This is a complex area and I have benefitted from both in the past.
I am asking myself, given our times right now, is bigger and faster really such a desirable commodity?