Laying The Bait
In June I was invited to work with some talented local artists exhibiting my work in unusual venues as part of an arts trail to coincide with Warwickshire Open Studios. I love to see art spring up in unexpected places, taking audiences by surprise and adding new dimensions to spaces and so this was right up my street.
I was to exhibit in two venues one of which was a beautiful stone church on the way to Studley Castle. A slightly daunting challenge as the solid stone walls of an ancient church and exhibition hangs are unhappy bed-fellows and so it was with some trepidation that I made my first pre-show site visit.
It was a visit of some surprises, the venue demanding as many things of me as I did of it, including within its dusty corners a cry out for a site specific piece upon a little stairway to nowhere. These steps may have had some form of religious significance I knew nothing about but to me it was simply that... a staircase leading to a void, a pointless journey upwards to no destination. Immediately this corner began to pull at things buried in the dark places of my soul.
What a pointless journey of fruitless effort, a climb leading to nothing but a fall! Before me in stone was a solid representation of a time when I had been coaxed forward with hollow words on a similar journey. Evil whispers and promises made using betrayal's vocabulary, laid like bait in a trap for my unsuspecting heart! I had walked that stairway to nowhere, I had lived it! I had thought for a long time that its final drop had broken me! Now I know I was never broken, I was just becoming something stronger. A staircase to nothing gives you scars you should cherish for they are the marks that make warriors!
I made 'Laying The Bait' as a final acknowledgement to this time when I had confused becoming new with brokenness . Within it are placed the words that lured me onto its steps, a finger point at the guilty if you will! It contains a last nod to the significance of those black days during which I discovered that weakness and strength really can feel exactly the same, it's just that in strength you don't give up!