A Beginning Place

I want to talk about many aspects of the work……. probably in no particular order……. to provide a context for the thinking that (I hope) is going to take place over the next few months. But where to start…

A thought: It occurs to me that in this world of bright young beings there has to be some pay off for getting older and I think it is this:- That you learn to know one or two things. (Whether you can remember them or not is a different matter!) One thing I know for sure is that the creative process is definitely not linear or even very logical. It wanders and wavers about, branches every which way, bounds out of control and meets lots of dead ends – often only to arrive right back where you started. A story: I must have been about 14. I started to collect the pips from my apples, then oranges… and plums, melons, grapefruit, dates… I sorted, washed, dried and stored them for weeks. I then took a piece of hardboard and carefully covered it with a mosaic of these tiny elements in the design of an owl with strips of pattern across his chest. It must have taken me hours. When it was done – I was acutely embarrassed by it (not a particularly ‘cool’ activity for a teenager) – My Mum propped it on the sideboard and it’s been there ever since. Thirty seven years later and I’m standing in front of an 8 metre wide wall in the V&A working on the installation piece ‘Order’ – thousands of tiny stone slivers carefully sorted, graded and glued directly on to the plaster of the gallery wall. I have come full circle! …… But arrived in a different place.

Installing 'Order' So it could be that all is programmed within us and it is a combination of chance and inclination that selects the mode and intensity? Should it really be said that room 101 is a point thirty seven years into a journey of discovery? Or perhaps it starts at birth? Source material 2003 - Click to enlarge. Source material - Click to enlarge. Source material. Cayton Bay, E. Riding of Yorkshire - Click to enlarge. Sketchbook page - Click to enlarge. Devil's Marbles, Australia. Light pencil sketch, 1988 - Click to enlarge. Visual note from sketchbook, 2003 - Click to enlarge.

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