Monday, 11 December 2006

Starting points

Dec 2006

I began this project with the intention of creating an artwork, or a group of related artworks that will reflect on the amazing experience of walking across the cliffs from Swanage towards Exeter, moving backward through 185 million years of geological time. Aspects that interested me at the start are:

1 the 'sketch' - The church had trouble accounting for fossils. A mediaeval monk postulated that fossils were god's 'sketches' for creatures at the start of creation. These were thrown out of heaven and embedded in the earth. I like this idea of a sketch.
2 symmetry - fossils like ammonites and trilobites show remarkably simple and clear symmetries
3 time - the youngest rocks here are still 65 million years old - and that's already too massive an amount of time for me or anyone to imagine. I will feel lucky to reach 65 years myself.
4 the sublime - there is a sense in the whole project of a mathematical sublime - a sense of awe and individual annihilation in the face of numbers far too massive to be comprehended.

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