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Stones always look more beautiful on the beach, still wet from the sea water that coats their surface to reveal hidden colours only accessible with its help. I can’t count how many stones I’ve collected from beaches. While sitting or walking. Cold or warm. Talking or silent. Tired, happy or bored.


There is always an element of disappointment with this stone collecting habit. A stone jumps out from all the rest, promising to remind you of a moment - to let you steal a piece of the day. However they never look quite as entrancing again.


It would be a cruel trick to play on nature to attempt to take a piece of time. Physics has its ways of holding the past in the past, and no memory is perfectly whole. Memory eventually fades and turns slowly into a feeling. All you can do is pick the stones up and feel their lightness. Their smoothness. This is where the beach is hiding, along with the memory of the entire world, which reveals its presence only in the smoothness of the stone.


Despite the disinterest in their physical appearance now, it's not possible to part with them. They mostly blur into one collective memory - not individual ones they are meant to represent. The beach is cold, warm, blissful, miserable, tiring, and happy. Not an occasion, not many beaches, but a single place that holds a shared identity, the collection of stones have put it there.


Looking around Tate Modern I noticed several works about the artist's own body, leaving a trace of it etched into the work. A poetic moulding of artist and material, the imprint of themselves remaining in this object. When the object undoubtedly survives, and the artist does not, the ghost of the objects’ maker remains immortalised perhaps forever.


Giuseppe Penone, Breath 5, 1978.

A large brown terracotta clay sculpture (1.5m tall). The marks running down the length of the pot are from his jeans, leaving the impression of his body as he leaned on the pot in order to form its shape. The overall teardrop form is the shape that he imagined his own exhaled breath to take. Combining an invisible aspect of his body, with a physical shape of another, more easily and literally recorded. Both ‘things’; the un-mappable breath, and the imprint-able trouser leg, are now both visible traces. The real and the made up; neither now present. We are left with an impression; the imagined shape of one and the fossil of the other.


There is something enjoyable about repeating an action everyday; trapping layers of time in between each repeated movement, it is like collecting. I have a half complete deck of cards in my bedroom at home, each card has been found somewhere or given to me by a friend who knows that I am trying to complete a full deck. On each card is written the date it was found, and where, like some strange archive of a life; people met and places visited. I have several disposable cameras containing images of the point that the sea meets the earth in many of the seaside locations I’ve ever visited.


For the same reason, its interesting to set a challenge of making one blue stone a day out of paper pulp and see how long a can get. When I say I blue stone, I mean squeezing the wet pulp until it sets dry in the shape of my hand, looking like a rock.


Paper mache has this immense history, used for large important structures such as roofs, boats and even a city. Nowadays it’s relinquished to semi permanent costumes or art pieces in schools. By impregnating the pulp with the colour blue, with its art historical past of a cherished and expensive colour, I'm making these small lumps of paper mache seem more significant.


Stones have been on this earth since the dawn of time, seen all of life unfold before them. Human life in comparison is minute, a stone one keeps sitting on their desk; their stone, the stone they connected with, that one on the beach in Hastings that no one noticed but you. That stone is looking back at you with age old wisdom, pity, and a different idea of your relationship, for it knows that you will be gone soon, and although you’ve taken it to a new environment, brought it inside your home or added it to a garden wall. It may be sitting among other stones or alone as the prize stone of all stones. You might not even be the first person to acknowledge the beauty of this stone, maybe someone sat on that same beach 400 years ago and held it in their hand, maybe it will be cherished again by someone 400 years in the future. Whatever the story of this stone, is not for you to know. However what is for sure is that you will one day leave the stone behind and there it will wait to be moved to a new location as someone else’s stone, or back into nature it will go. Nothing in life is really ours, one way or another it belongs to the earth, and the earth will reclaim it however tightly we hold it to our hearts.


Humans operate in milestones. More so than any periods of years, days or months. We don’t recall periods of our lives in the recognised formats of time we use on a formal basis, what is recalled, are the milestones. These are the emotional, unforgettable hands of a clock that split a life up into chunks of time. To remember the first day of school, the year they got that dream job, engaged, married, first child, the loss of a parent. We split life up into these chapters, not in five year chunks or any other formal timekeeping.


Where does the term milestone come from? ‘Long ago, ancient Romans placed stone pillars called "obelisks" along the sides of roadways. Typically, the stones were placed a mile apart. Each “mile stone" was given a unique number, serving as a mile marker.’ www.wonderopolis.org


Paper and stones are opposite but the same. Both have played huge roles in the evolution, progression and essential degradation of humankind. Advancing the body and then advancing the mind, both now redundant for the purposes they were originally used

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