Passing Moment



Passing moment, 12 glass vessels with handmade paper elements cast onto wire and thread, grouped together, with a handmade paper work in a box frame, approximately overall size 1 x 2 metres but the installation can be configured differently in response to different spaces. Additional pieces not shown at the City Museum include a series of photographs, a floor-based arrangement of bowls (detail above, left) and a series of fragile chalk, silver wire and handmade paper necklaces (one is shown above, right).

This work was originally envisaged as a larger companion-piece to some earlier work of mine; A landscape in ten parts, which used natural materials and pigments found in the landscape; clay, coal and natural dyes to colour handmade paper. For the new piece I worked with material collected during walks along the chalk paths near Winchester. Chalk is commonly added to industrially produced paper to act as a filler and give a smooth surface. Working with far higher quantities of chalk imparted the opposite effect, instead of smoothness there was a mineral quality to the cast paper shapes, which also acquired a palette of various chalky whites.

As in A landscape in ten parts I aimed to make one piece of work made up of many vessels or containers filled with related forms of cast handmade paper, though unlike that work I see some of these forms being reminiscent of the microscopic shapes found within the chalk itself which I saw in macro photographs of chalk shown in a talk in Winchester by geologist John Parker.

Macro photo of chalk courtesy John Parker

Macro photo of chalk courtesy John Parker

The work shown at Winchester City Museum is made up of handmade paper forms contained within glass vessels of varying sizes and arranged to form a kind of landscape or memory of a walk.

Passing moment, (title from a piece of writing about landscape for Stour Valley Arts by Doreen Massey), engages with the actual material of the local landscape, chalk, itself and also with the repetitive processes of collecting materials and walking on the chalk paths through the fields near Winchester. It grows from an ongoing landscape research project of mine based on walks through the landscapes of Southern England.

The work emerged from my interest in place, material, time and process. Materials and collections of objects found on walks on the South Downs provided the key towards developing these pieces. My first steps are always to arrange my finds and photograph them. Do they need to be in something like a box or on something like folded paper? It’s the beginning of working out how they ‘become’ part of my work rather than just being ‘things’. To me these arrangements of things are like maps. They tell me where I’ve been and show me where to go next.