Cross-current: – 1. a current in a river or sea flowing across another current. 2. a conflicting tendency moving counter to the usual trend.
These two pieces – Cross-currents and Sea Passage feel in some way separate from my other work despite all the elements having been used in earlier work. The specific mix of textured black clay and smooth white paper clay and use of impressed materials to create surface pattern and texture were used in pieces such as Thorn I and II. The sea motif and use of detritus from previous makings is apparent in Sea Change I and II and Sea Bite.
So perhaps it’s the ideas behind the work that were changing and that I have further developed in my most recent work, Faultlines, making these pivotal pieces, and that is why the name Cross-currents seems so apposite.
On a different note when I exhibit Cross-currents, unless it is very strongly spot lit I think I may need to provide a torch so the interior can be seen. I have included some interior views here and if you look closely at the third one you can see signs I have a little visitor!
Thorn l and Thorn ll are some of the final pieces I made towards the Maker in Focus exhibition at Mission Gallery. They are something of a return to the tree motif I initially envisaged as the major element within this body of work, before the sea took over.
I used cuttings from the dying hawthorn hedge in my garden (courtesy of a neighbour spraying brambles on their side!) and pressed them into the clay slabs while the clay was still relatively soft.
The forms appear largely urban/industrial but were also influenced by a thorn bush I came across some years ago that had been sculpted by the wind, and perhaps sheep and deer, into an almost perfect cuboid – just a few stray twigs straggled out of one top corner.
The use of white paper clay alludes to the lichens I found on many of the wind blown trees around the coast as well as on the old oak trees in my local park, Parc Coed Bach.