Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Word Cross

Word Cross, wire 1997

One of the strange aspects of an artist’s job is that most of the time you are doing something no one has asked you to do; things that, since they do not as yet exist, no one could ask you to do. Sometimes they may of course be things that no one will ever require you to have done. It is a chancy life of uncontingent imperatives.
I first exhibited this Word Cross at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1997. Caroline Gould, a parishioner of Farningham, a small village in Kent, showed a great interest in securing it for her church, even though it is an expensive and doctrinally controversial object. I can only too readily imagine what efforts of planning and persuasion led, after many months of discussion, to its eventual acquisition this year. There was just time for me to have it shipped back from New York where it had been on show, and delivered to Farningham church on the Thursday of Easter Week. Luckily the installation (at a spot we had worked out together with the help of paper models) could be effected in the few hours before the appropriate Good Friday service for its dedication. The picture shows that it will soon look as if, simultaneously modern and mediaeval, it has always been there.  At a time when the artworld has become a bloated thing like a celebrity based branch of the stock exchange, it is very satisfying to make a real and seriously thoughtful transaction.
They also serve that only stand and wait...

Word Cross at St Peter & St Paul, Farningham 2011


Anonymous said...

I am delighted to learn that this beautiful, thoughtful and provocative work has been installed in a church. Congratulations to the parishoner for seeing the possibility and to the DAC for approving its purchase and installation

Anonymous said...

What is doctrinally controversial about it?