The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen’s next exhibition is called “Whither The Ash” – it appears to be a very topical theme at the moment, not surprisingly, as we are still losing our beautiful trees. I can’t exhibit my sculpture of “The Last Tree” (see last post) made in response to this issue at the Guild gallery because it is soon to be transported down to Delamore House for the exhibition there in May. So I decided to make a small wall mosaic for the Guild’s exhibition.
I wanted to illustrate the last part of the Norse Myth – Ragnarok – the destruction of the old world that led to the creation of a new world.
There was the burnt out lightening torn ash down the road that continued to inspire me throughout the ash tree project. The perfect hollow ash to protect Lif and Leifthrasir who sheltered there to survive the destruction, bringing life into a new world.
I made a coloured sketch:
I used irregular smalti, marble and stones, matt ceramic tile and gold leaf glass and worked directly to allow the mosaic to have texture. I felt that this would describe the turmoil of the apocalypse better than a flat surface.
I found standing up with the work on an easel was much better too, helping not only ease my back after a bout of flu, but also to work in a more spontaneous manner. I felt more like I was painting with oils than breaking and sticking!
I hope you can see Lif and Leifthrasir crouching inside the ash. I painted the grout chrome to highlight their outline, but also to suggest that they are lit up by the flashes of light from the tumultuous skies.
“Lif and Leifthrasir will hide themselves in Hoddmimir’s Holt. The morning dew they have for food, from them springs mankind.” (from the Eddic poem – The Lay of Vafthrudnir. 45)