Inspired by the gargoyles and ornaments on the outer walls of Chester Cathedral, this unique, hand-carved plaster wall-piece uses medieval-style iconography to speak both of the wonders of this world and as a reminder of the brevity of existence. The visual motifs are also somewhat reminiscent of the symbolism of the tarot. And all that in a sculpture that would fit neatly into the hand, at 9 c.m. x 9 c.m. and 2 c.m. deep. The colour, produced by mixing in dry pigment directly while varnishing the piece, is best described as a shimmering gold on grey stone, with a tinge of copper green in places. The outer coating is yacht varnish, so the piece could be hung outdoors if required. A saw-tooth hanger has been fitted to the reverse, for hanging from a nail or picture hook.
On a visit to Chester Cathedral in the summer of 2019 I was struck by the many small carvings in the stone walls on the exterior, particularly around the doors and windows. On returning home, I made up a block of plaster and when it was ready I sat down to make a carving. I made no preparatory drawings but worked directly with my fine carving tools, looking for the forms hidden inside the plaster block. What emerged was an angel, with the wings of a swan, a little like some of the designs I'd seen in Chester. She seems to be communing with a small figure who stands at the top of a stone tower. The disparity in scale is typical of a medieval approach to images, where no attempt is made to mimic the world merely as it appears. In the lower right corner of the carving a memento mori emerged in the form of a human skull, another typically medieval piece of imagery.
Shipping & delivery
This item will be posted to you by Bloor's Emporium within 3 days of receiving payment.
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