I owe the inspiration for this piece to a Celtic metal worker of the first century AD who created a small bronze disc, decorated with the scrolling spirals of a triskele, now known after the place where it was discovered in the River Bann – the Bann Disc. (I’ve written more about it over on my blog, just click here to read about it).
The spiral and the three-fold spiral are ancient symbols, found repeatedly in art across several cultures and it’s still very evident in our lives today. What exactly they mean however varies widely. I’m particularly attracted to the notion that our lives are cyclical, that we travel round the seasons, always the same route, but never quite coming back to exactly where we began, and so we spiral.
Although gold has always been prized for its constancy, its ability to remain the same, untarnished through time, I’m drawn to less precious metals where the effects of age are more obvious. I adore the patina created on the surface of metals as they age. In this piece I’ve stitched metallic threads in many directions which give the work a shimmering quality, different under every light and especially alive when seen by candlelight when it glints and glimmers.
The Bann Disc as with most ancient artefacts has not survived entirely intact. It it thinner in places, showing its fragility and there are small holes were time has worn the metal away. In the work I’ve tried to bring a sense of a powerful image, created in a strong metal, transformed into a thing of delicacy by age and the effects of long, slow decay, but still an image of beauty.
‘A Celtic Mystery’
Approximately 13 x 14 ” (32 x 34 cm) Silks, metallic threads and fibres on linen scrim.