D-Day Monuments

A couple of weeks ago I was cycling along the coastline of Normandy and saw a number of newly commissioned memorials. I came away strangely unaffected by any of the sculptures I saw. For me there was not enough mental space left for the viewer to make his or her own interpretations, space that is essential for conjuring thoughts and emotions. Then I saw the remains of the Mulberry harbour at Arromanches. It’s like some great disjointed serpent, its tail snaking back to England. It’s a powerful monument in itself with great sculptural qualities. This one remnant of the battle seemed sufficient to  trigger a range of emotions and responses. I’m not sure we need any more commissioned pieces for tourists to scramble over and pose for selfies.

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Work in Progress – “…and Breathe”

My latest piece is in Indian Soapstone. It polishes up like ebony, but the parts that remain unpolished remain a vivid duck-egg blue, so you can achieve some really interesting contrasts and textures. This piece is going to be called “… and Breathe.” It is a head of someone emerging from water (the water which will be represented by a hammered copper sheet). The striations surrounding the head represent more water flowing over it. I really like the chisel marks on the roughed-out striations and am minded not to polish them out.

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