2018 - 2019
Dominion_edited.jpg
Peat Head.jpg
Lobster%20Lady_edited.jpg

GIVEN DOMINION

Iron plaster cast, barbed wire and the bones of birds, mammals and fish.

...'Let man have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'  

Genesis 1:26.

This piece is based on my feeling that we haven't used this gift well.

OLD GOD

A carved peat head on a peat base.  ​

Peat has formed here in the wet and cool North West for millennia.  The depth I dug this from dates from around 1000 years ago. ​

Peat shrinks by up to 50% as it dries, so it has to be dried very slowly - in this case for a year - to reduce splitting.  It also has to be hand-polished as vibration causes cracking. ​

Making this was prompted by pictures of the crude and enigmatic heads of ancient 'Gods' excavated from Northern Wetlands.  It seemed somehow appropriate to use materials created by summer growth and winter decay a millennia ago.

LOBSTER LADY

A mannequin head with sand and lobster antennae hair.​

This head was submerged for nine months under the Atlantic (prior to getting hair!).​

When snorkelling or wading at low tide, the sight of a lobster's vermilion feelers always seems exotic and dazzling against the prevailing seaweed browns.

Stag%20Head%20b_edited.jpg
Lichen%2520Lady_edited_edited.jpg
Stele%20b_edited.jpg

SEA STAG

I found this stag dead; with eighteen ‘points' this is an exceptional head, to my knowledge the largest ever recorded in the Islands.​

It was placed underwater in the Minch for two years, combining land and sea.

LICHEN LADY

Mannequin head and torso with various

mosses and lichens. ​

I made this to try to parallel the changes and encrustation made by the sea.

STELE

This was inspired by the verdigris on copper rivets on old wrecked wooden boats.

It was positioned at a mid-tide position to allow salt to initiate patination of the copper at high tide, and oxygen to accelerate this

process at low tide.

Hence 'Stele' as a marker between these two states.

Bird%20skulls%20in%20salt%20bowl_edited.
Suspended_edited.png
Quartz%2520in%2520peat_edited_edited.png

SEA & SKY

Sea salt bowl containing gannet, fulmar,

crow and snipe skulls.​

On this island, the sea and the sky are overwhelmingly dominant features.

COUPLE

Two mannequin busts which were suspended

in the sea for 18 months. ​

The busts are encrusted with polychaete worm casts and seaweed growth.  The weed has been preserved using glycerine.  The pearl eyes are a reference to Ariel's song to Ferdinand in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'.​

The base is a plaster cast of the seabed at low tide.

EARTH & SEA

Peat bowl and sea worn quartz pebbles. ​

Quartz pebbles, rounded by the sea, are thought to have historically represented purity and rebirth.  They were placed in the hand or the mouth of the body before burial. ​

The bowl was made from an ancient layer of peat and allowed to slowly dry for 18 months.