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The Minefield Series is my first anti-war series, taking the appearance of sea mines and drawing on the theme of Halcyon calm. The work is a tribute to all those lives lost throughout wars and genocides, whilst opposing the perils of war and persecution still being faced today. 

 

I had always found the following extract from De Quincey's 'The Pleasures of Opium' very beautiful.

 

‘… [It is] when I have been seated at an open window, from which I could overlook the sea at a mile below me, … [that] at nearly the same distance—that from sunset to  sunrise, all through the hours of night, I have continued motionless, as if frozen without consciousness of myself as of an object anywise distinct from the multiform scene which I contemplated from above. ... The town of Liverpool represented the earth, with its sorrows and its graves left behind, yet not out of sight, nor wholly forgotten. The ocean, in everlasting but gentle agitation, yet brooded over by dove-like calm … and the mood which then swayed it. For it seemed to me as if then first I stood at a distance aloof from the uproar of life; as if … a respite were granted from the secret burdens of the heart,—some sabbath of repose, some resting from human labours. Here were the hopes which blossom in the paths of life, reconciled with the peace which is in the grave; motions of the intellect as unwearied as the heavens, yet for all anxieties a halcyon calm.’

 

In the early sixteenth century, halcyon calm would refer to a mythical bird commonly known as the kingfisher in Greek legend which was said by ancient writers to breed during fourteen days of tranquil weather at the winter solstice. They bred new halcyon birds in a nest floating upon resting waters in the Aegean Sea, with a power to command waves and winds into a placid calm, free from disturbance. Drawing on this theme, the titles of these individual sculptures - Halcyon, Serenity, Aeolus, Alcyone, Snow, Aegean and Solstice - each refer to the beautiful story of halcyon calm. Apex shores up the meaningful message behind The Minefield Series, loudly and eloquently confronting wars and wrong doings, new and old, promoting calmer new beginnings.

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