I recently submitted a ceramic artwork, a diptych entitled Written in Stone, to the Royal Academy for their summer exhibition. They were looking for art being made now and so I thought, well, why not? I’ll have a go.
I made two stoneware plaques, one a reference to my old neighbour in California who took his own life and another a reference to my current neighbour who pops his head over the fence to ask if we would like a paper.
The focus of both plaques is the fence that I made an impression of in the clay, or rather the height of the fence; the first being six feet high and the second short enough to have a conversation over.
The six foot fence has always remained in my mind as an impenetrable barrier. A fence. How can a fence make a difference? But it does. And I wanted to make a piece of art to show that.
The Royal Academy didn’t accept Written in Stone, and that’s okay, it doesn’t detract from its value for me, in fact, it deepens my connection, in this case, to my neighbours, and that is why I make Art.