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