We walked along the beach at Hythe. Last Saturday. The last day of January. It was bitingly cold. I didn’t mind. I gathered these few stones of blueish flint and some aged seaweed stems. Back in the studio, I placed the stones on a piece of rust-dyed fabric and arranged them in the same way I arranged the other day my hexagonal pieces of eco printed fabric: one central piece and five encircling ones, in this case, flint stones in place of hexagons of fabric, making a flower of life shape. I ringed the group of stones with the seaweed stems.
What am I doing, I wonder? Is this about protection? I’ve drawn a salty circle around an arrangement of flinty eggs. It could also be I’m trying to describe a cell and its quantum allsorts (given my Below the Line project). The central piece of flint is heart-shaped. A blue heart. I would want to protect my heart. Especially if it were blue, when it ought to be red.
Or my nucleus. Heart-shaped.
Composer and artist John Cage drew circles round stones. His motivation was to fix the stone in space and time, I’ve read. Motivation is always multi-layered, a palimpsest. I came across an abandoned scrap of art while I was arranging my stones and stems – it was like black flint with a piece of blue sky trapped in it. I placed one of my stones on it and drew round it. I’ll cut the shape out of the scrap. Thus, an image, growing out of a stone. Life, flowers.
Lunch in Hythe in a family-run cafe-restaurant (homemade cauliflower cheese, baked potato (stones again) and a hot strong pot of tea) then a drive up to the village of Wye, near Ashford, as it began to rain. As we climbed, and into more exposed countryside, the rain turned to snow. Pregnant sheep huddled in protective circles, snow forming wet blankets on their dense fleeces. Fleecy balls with stones in their innards, waiting to drop.
This is the first snow I’ve seen this winter. I’ve been hoping for snow. It blankets and protects the promise of renewal.
I spotted a lamb the other day, an early renewal.
There were snowdrops in Hythe.
snowdrop snow drop
lamb drop in snow
salt circles burns snow