In my blog of 31 March, below, I told of the joys of collecting ‘rubbish’ off the beach, and then of assembling some of the bits and pieces into ‘sculpture’.
Here are two of the more successful assemblages: the first is ‘Earth Mother‘. It illustrates exactly my main principle in playing around with this material: I am not allowed to alter in any way the object as found, though of course I can stick things to it and stick it to things in order to make an assemblage.
None of that was necessary in this case, other than to mount the flint pebble as found (9 cms broad). Archaeologists will need no reminding of the antecedents in cultural terms of this remarkable, heavily cortexed and much rolled but otherwise natural flint-stone which somehow my eye alighted on amid trillions of pebbles along a particular stretch of the Suffolk coast. Perhaps it was the beauty of this ‘Venus’.
The second example is quite different and contains within itself a marked contrast. It is called ‘Inscribed stone‘. It is 9.5 cms square, and its three components all came from the same stretch of Suffolk beach. They are, from bottom to top, respectively a sherd of white wall tile (with an ‘M’ inscribed on its serrated underneath); a sherd of baked clay roof tile so battered and eroded that its upper surface (to camera) gives the impression of being covered with markings akin to hieroglyphs; and a slightly curved toggle-like object, bored from end to end, cracked along its upper surface from end to end, inscribed with seven ‘X’s on the facing side and very faintly with an unknown number of similar on the reverse face. I cannot recognise what it is made of, though it looks and feels like shale, lignite or the like. So the whole is in every way an inscribed stone, though paradoxically my title refers to the unauthentic ‘hieroglyphs’ on the clay surface beneath the genuinely inscribed, slightly Minoan-suggestive bar on the top.
This enigmatic ‘sculpture’ will appear at my Halesworth exhibition with, I am delighted to say, a red spot on it, for it was appreciated and bespoken by a percipient visitor almost before it left the studio. There are doubtless many more where that one came from but I wonder if I’ll ever concoct again so apt an ensemble.