“Art in the Garden” has been cancelled, there is no turning back, like before it means to be be flexible and adapt, accepting that life rarely works out as planned, what unfolds instead makes somehow sense. I am not in control, even if I kid myself that I am…enough of philosophical thoughts on “how to cope with disappointment”. I have been carving along on “stone 1”, nearing completion, many weeks ago I mentioned the bliss of starting to see forms emerge, a similar satisfaction is the tweaking of forms at the end, bringing out the best in forms and their connection between each other, reflecting constantly the flow inside the mass and adjusting the outer visible form to internal form movement. As you can see on the image below I started to sand down some of the form, discovering bright, bright orange veins running through the stone. It is hard to keep positive, encouraging myself that it is worth spending hours in dust, noise and isolation for the sake of form…looking at the image I am proud of what has happened, not as planned but hey with that I am back to where I started…I am not in control.
Easier start today, the first steps have been taken but it always take time to get back into the groove after a week full of…life. Several hours had passed and all of a sudden forms in the stone moved, oh wow, I love it when that happens, it seems to me the most exciting part of stone carving. Can see enough to orientate myself and that is where the true planning starts for me, I have something visual to hold on to and work with, I can make decisions and guide the forms into space available in the material, this stage is fairly loose and free, look forward to have a few days in which I am aiming to create a map of the forms in my mind that suit the stone/material and my idea. Go, go, go!
Always a challenge to prioritise, I could happily get more involved into the world of mould making and casting as it is all new and exciting… but I consciously steer away from it, keeping an eye on the stone carving, which is as exciting and needs in depth planning. I enjoy the motion of gaining a deeper understanding through drawing and model making, relating plans to the actual big lumps of rock, realising that a solidly considered plan before taking to the power tools is what I want. At times I feel like walking in the dark, at times I can see where I am coming from and which direction I am taking. It is not easy for me to visualise the whole form available to me and to make decisions where I want to reduce. I am getting there slowly knowing it is time and effort well spend.
We set off to in the morning to arrive in Cornwall by midday. Wim and Lar loading two big rocks in no time into Lar’s van. I am speechless watching Wim working and controlling the forklift, the way he wraps the webbing around the boulders, knowing exactly how the weight is going to settle down in it, then the precision in which he and Lar position the rocks in the van with the usual “up a bit down a bit”.
Wim was not totally sure what type of rock it is but for sure it will have a fine finish and be durable outside, blue-grey-pinky colouring, I am starting to carve next week. Ideas need to be tweaked a little as the shape of the boulders is slimmer than I imagined. Each boulder weighs approximately 200kg.
Being so near the sea, we had to have some time by it, a flavour of holiday. Don’t worry I am not sharing ALL the snapshots with you.
Travelling back to Stroud chatting, sipping coffee, enjoying some brownies and Goldfrapp, arriving early evening at the workshop near Whiteway. Whilst it is tipping it down Sebastian, Will and Lar are unloading the stones via a ramp and rollers. They know how to handle huge amounts of weight confidently. The stones I handled so far could be carried by two people…I know I am entering a new arena and even though it is daunting it also is very exciting! I have been waiting for this moment a long time and now I am here, I am stepping into the unknown, I am taking a risk.
This journey to Cornwall alone needed the support of many people, Lar for all the driving, conversations and dipping toes into the sea, Wim who gifted me the stones, Sebastian and Will who came out on this rainy evening to unload. THANK YOU!!
What is form?…a frozen moment in time..visible ultimate structure..can it be fluid, ephemeral, transient when made out of stone? Stone was not always hard, cold and solid, surely it can be taken back to a point when the mass was was not structured..would it work as a form, what would the form look like? How does form come about? It depends on so many factors, the mass, time, the energy it has been exposed to..Is it possible to have opposing forces playing into the mass or would the result be a chaotic weak form?..I am waiting to pick up a piece of stone from Cornwall at some point over the next two weeks, big enough to get my teeth into (well not literally) and to let my questions and hesitations rest whilst working out some of these in the material itself.
Here thoughts on the installation for the “Art in the Garden”2013 to be installed in the plunge pool at the Rococo Garden.
Reflection and water are an important part of it,as is taking the stone down to its molecular structure.
Cotswold stone is 200million years old and is a oolite (egg stone).
As I am hoping to work with marble as it is durable outdoors. I might change the planed forms of the carving,going to research that one.
Guiseppe Penone, Whitechapel Gallery, our relationship with nature and how it can be visually experienced is potent in his work.