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12. Tykydew

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Poet (and artist-in-residence in my geography department) Alyson Hallet and I chose the pieces of granite together from Tim’s stockpile, deciding to use the worn forms of Carnsew fieldstone. These stones had been pulled from the agricultural land near Trenoweth and brought to the quarry for use in architectural masonry. Their main value was the rusty brown colouring of the crystalline matrix, a colour not always easy to obtain. The weathering that had shaped these boulders into unusual forms held a poetic significance for us; we related to how they had been sculpted by the elements. They had an intrinsically formal quality that conveyed cosmic processes on intimate and colossal scales.

The four stones were carved with the words Love Moon – Seeking – Finding – ‘Tykydew’. ‘Tykydew’ is the Cornish word for butterfly and the flow of words reflected a journey through the Cornish landscape. The large words were carved in such a way as to keep the form of the stones intact, and giving the words a more sculptural feel. The design of the words required people to investigate the whole stone, and piece together their own configuration of the five words. The project hosted the opportunity to investigate the formal properties of these naturally worn and shaped boulders — natural processes of erosion versus human intervention. Also I could asses how the collected boulders at the quarry became integral to other assemblages of meaning, especially with having the words subtly worked into the surface. The boulders kept their essential quality of boulderness, but became associated with a whole set of new relations.

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