Friday, 7 January 2011
Floods at Moonrise
Moonlit landscape, floods, mist. It's a memory of home, when the river valley floods and mist rises. I've added a picture which shows the valley in late summer I think. The vase is gathering of three images and memories. The Glyme valley where I grew up; Portmeadow, in Oxford, where I lived for a time, and which frequently flooded voluminously and magnificently resembling a mighty lake, which froze in winter sometimes and provided the best skating facilities I've ever used; and Lordship Rec, in Tottenham, London, where I now live whose modest and manky ditch is nonetheless edged in vast, stately, mature willows of exactly the sort I grew up with. These are the willows pictured on the pot. There is a slightly mournful tinge to this vase: just after I photographed and drew them on to the surface of the vase, they were subject of major surgery. This is not entirely a matter for mourning. They were suffering. I could see the dead wood and was fearing for them. It is not least for this reason that I gave them a vase. I do want to congratulate Haringey's tree surgeon for doing what looks like an excellent job on the all the trees in our park and I do hope the willows will re-sprout in Spring, as anticipated and in that inimitable way that willows do.
This vase was also in part a response to 'The Dry Salvages' part of 'Four Quartets.'
Technically, the vase felt risky being almost monochrome as it is and almost wholly dependent on tonal variation. I'm not sure how I feel about the lustres. The silver base seems perfect and the rim - neither of which you can see in these images. The moon and its halo seem to work, but there are silvery flecks on the water which need to be well lit to be brought out. Either that or I haven't used enough lustre. The trees and water I'm pleased with. I haven't got to know this pot yet. So I'm still waiting.