A light touch and a long view

A light touch and a long view

When looking into a piece of stone, one can read its history, both its geological formation far back in distant time, and its more recent experiences of the world; the surface signs of sun, wind and water, the cuts and bruises left by its journey out of the ground or the quarry.

To see how beautiful are these traces is to be lifted out of the present and to touch for a brief moment the natural processes that formed our planet, almost beyond human comprehension in their immensity and violence, almost inconceivable in their time scale. And behind the creation of our planet, hangs the creation of our solar system, and behind that, our galaxy, and behind that, the universe.

The grace, power and pleasure the natural world can show us is what drives the making of these pieces. The human form, the most complex of all life forms on earth, is carved out of stone, out of the same minerals, elements, atoms and molecules that have always made up our physical universe. These carvings, cut from stone hundreds of millions if not billions of years old, can survive a few more millions, or billions of years into the future; (to be seen by whom?). Our senses let us know what we can of our planet; we are always limited, always a part of the whole. The body is those senses, biologically constructed out of the same minerals, elements, atoms and molecules that form the stone, the land, the planet.

These angels, warriors and poets who people the stone, are born of sunny, windy hill tops, and the dark light of caves; a kind of ecstasy, a stillness, a remembered energy from childhood, from dreams of fish memory, from dreams of flying and the silence of stone.

The torsoes are stiller still, holding the feel of lying on warm grass, or stone, feeling the hard deep planet under the back, winding back a trail to the first kinds of births, a frozen moment of fullness, in stone.

At the same time, I want the work to bear witness over time against our failures, and to stand as a testament to our ‘feeble tinsel winged hopes’ and successes – our aspirations towards compassion for this precious beautiful globe and all who sail in her amazing arms.

Emily Young, 2005