These are progress pictures of a sculpture, in the morning light, mirrored and flipped to create strange objects. They make me think of seedpods the size of moons launched upon the oceans of space by a plant seeking new earth. Plan Plant Planet
I made this piece just in time for my exhibition back in March. It proved to be quite a challenge getting it there in one piece. It didn’t sell but I’ve enjoyed having it around, especially on sunny mornings. It’s good to see an artwork in different lights. Some paintings are very different in the half light of dawn and dust.
‘Headings’ – 2017 – Chrystal Roc plaster and seed heads.
I have not quite finished this piece but there’s not too much further to go with it. It sits on the chest of drawers in my bedroom, next to a window. It looked so peaceful in the morning light. I was planning to cover the whole of the vessel with seed heads but my children said that it looked finished. I think they may be right.
This piece which drilled into my attraction to the poppy seed heads I had gathered, and finding a way to incorporate them into an artwork has led me along particular lines of thought; attraction and its part in the continuance and evolution of life, how we are agents of evolution and what we do and think matters.
I am self-employed and have a variety of revenue streams; well some are trickles, and some are dry river beds for most of the year. But they all add up. One of the more steady flows of income is gardening. I am not a horticulturalist but I know how to shape a hedge and keep most things alive. One of my regular gardens has beautiful poppies that grow in greater number each year. This is them.
Although poppies don’t flower for long I wanted some for my own garden. The beauty of the flowers had lured me like a bee and turned me in to a slave to its need for proliferation. Evolution through a random variation of spreading; unlikely but I was happy to do the poppies bidding. So once the flowers had gone by I pruned of all the seed heads and collected the seeds as the heads dried up and opened. I have quite decent tub full now. The dried heads are beautiful things in themselves so I kept them. I put some in vases around the flat and the rest were stored head down in a plastic tub. Here they all are.
I started doing some direct casting into clay. This is a simple process, of making a bed of clay and then building a wall around it to the depth you want your relief to be. Press in to the clay with an object such as a shell and pull it out. Pour plaster into the empty space with the wall holding it all in until the plaster ‘goes off’ or hard. Turn the hard piece upside-down, remove the clay and you’re left with a fossil like cast of the object. So I was doing some direct casting and I was hunting around for different things to press into the clay and tried a dried poppy seed-head. To my surprise it was tough enough to withstand being pressed into clay and pulled back out again. Here are a couple of pieces I did using this technique. The second one I painted once the plaster had fully gone off.
The story doesn’t end there so look out for further installments