Sculpture in Motion

She appears as a sculpture in motion. No, a sculpture of motion. Ever changing, ever shifting, a tremulous existence. There, and then gone. I had only turned my head and she vanished, leaving me to wonder at the invisible hands of her creator, at her presence and her loss. And at what comes next.

Her creator has been busy, arranging form and light and time and reflection in such an intricate array. Fluidity. An orchestration of shape and rainbow colour. Long, thin chandeliers drip their essence into the matrix below. Hoodoos and plateaus form the landscape, punctuated by rising mountains and sheer cascades. Secret castles with spiraling towers. Stars of light and colour. So many more, all trapped in an instant, a photograph of memory, for in the next instant everything changes again. But you have to look closely. Wind paints its stories in broad strokes, but water uses a finer pen. Poetry without words, a sonnet of exquisite detail.

With typical human arrogance I challenge myself to the task. A bare form, held between my hands, melts its existence through my fingers. Now. A rub here, a little polish there, some incisions, a break. . . but my work is gone. Like her. I try again. And again, and again, fool to believe I could challenge the master to a contest of form. My attempts are crude, child-like by comparison. Maybe with some practice – a few millennia should do.

Resigned, I cease my struggles and turn again to watch, and wonder. I sit through eons, my heron eyes unflinching as the movie plays out before me. No beginning, no end, it just is. With humility and gentle care the sculptor planes thin strips away, returning yet for more. I see now my mistake. Impatience led me astray, attempting to do too much, to take too much too quickly. The art is in the creating, not the creation. The gift is in the journey.

I sit on the edge of existence, balanced on a thin veneer of illusion. I long to reach out, to touch, but my reach falls short. Lying prone, the ice melts and seeps slowly through my clothes, chilling my breast and knees. It is worth the price. Stretch, stretch, stretch, finally, contact. My fingers dangle in the waters of life. Icicles begin to form at the edges of my hand. The creator is adaptive, any foundation will do. I inch forward, extending my arm, offering material on which to build. Slowly I submerge. My body becomes clay for the sculptor’s hands. I immerse my thoughts, blend them with her will, giving myself up completely. Only then do I know. . .

Mike Pedde 27/01/2002