In Terracotta with a surface cracked finish reminiscent of a tanned hide, this piece illustrates the link between past and present. It reflects how individual histories cradle the views of the present and are the foundation of the future ; an ovoid or egg signifies a rebirth or beginning; its freedom within the piece representing choice or free will and the piercings and the numerous possibilities the future holds.
Sitting in the corner
a box from Auntie Maude.
A crumpled piece of paper
whose words gave me reward.
Foreign funeral flotsam;
secrets of the past;
haunting whispers with no sound:
convey a history that is Found.
Salted skins, steaming, stinking.
Sweat of muscle, sinews straining.
Putrid vapours fill the air.
Caustic lime burns hardened hands.
A curing, changing, re-creating,
hair removed and rawhide raising.
Hemlock felled of bark denuded,
fermented making tanning liquor;
completing yet a transformation,
to leather hides waxed and oiled.
Skeins of skins in shipping piles
a product of pre-cedents toil.
Leather formed; rolled out, unbound.
A crucible of past, now Found.
A cradle for beginnings new.
Perfect form, position changing.
Aspect set by viewer’s hand.
An orb that moves
creating windows on the world
to look through and to see amazed
a myriad of pathways
that lead to endless possibilities
laid out clearly all around.
A future, that is Found.
How are we linked to our ancestors? Modern science lays out how the genetic code of our forebears defines our individual genetic composition. Their wealth, social position, nationality and personality are also embedded in our psych. How has their legacy influenced our social position, our upbringing and our attitude to the world around us?
The poem looks at the discovery of a lineage of ancestry and what that means in terms of social class and working conditions for those involved.
It looks at how that history creates a lens through which we see the world around us. The way we see the world NOW, prescribes how we see the future; the pathways and opportunities that are available to us. This is not the whole story. If we can stand tall and take in wider perspectives then a whole new range of futures become possibilities.
The sculpture is formed in the shape of a crucible or bowl, made to look like leather. The shape and texture echoes the past but is an inextricable part of the present. The arrangement of piercings in the bowl suggests the wide range of other ancestries and forborn influencers that help form our current existence. The bowl is not complete, its ends bent and curled towards other possibilities, creating a space that accepts new ideas and allows the outside world to influence the present. Inside the bowl is an ovoid or egg the symbol of rebirth or new life. Access to this is not bound solely by the limits of the bowl but can be accessed by outside influences through the space. The individual through free will can change the orientation of the ovoid. By changing its aspect it allows a different view through the piercings in the ovoid. These piercings represent different pathways, different possibilities that are influenced not only by our history, but by our interaction with the world around us. The ability to change the orientation of the ovoid demonstrates the power of freewill and the ability of each of us, if we have the self-belief and determination, to chart our own path into the future. This does not release us from the influence of our history, it is part of us, but our decisions are our own, the pathways we follow are defined by us. The past enriches, limits, releases or shackles us, but all these things are shades and shadow. The exercise of freewill allows each one of us to choose our own path illuminated by a light from within.
Compassion – We are products of our past and so moulded by the compassion that our ancestors showed to their families and those around them. In being compassionate we set an example that changes the social fabric that surrounds us.