Garden of Shadows, 2015
Embossed lead, Marine Grade 316 stainless steel
Garden of Shadows is a work of memory and forgetting. The double sided tent-form alludes to summer games played in a child’s makeshift tent. The lacy ‘mantle’ canopy of holes is a frail and fragmented shelter, referring to whispered stories, wishes and a glimpse of the unspoken. The perforated form casts complex patterns in sunlight, creating optical distortions as visitors pass. Inside the tent, layers of embossed words selected from writings of WW1 poets will be added during the exhibition referring to loss, the fields, skies and hearts of lead.
‘No child or future generation will ever know what this was like… When it is over we will go quietly about our business and we will not tell them. We will talk and sleep and go about our business like human beings. We will seal what we have seen in the silence of our hearts and no words will reach us.’ (Birdsong: Sebastian Faulks)
In researching and creating this artwork, as the child of a soldier who survived the First World War, I have focussed on the ‘everlasting shadow’; the mantle carried by families of broken and decorated soldiers, who as survivors of the Great War carried their horror forever from the battles of Messines, Arras, the Somme and Passchendaele.”