Nocturnus, 2024

Diptych in oak with a series of hand-sculpted, cast and gilded gypsum flowers & roundels

Height 49.5cm (19 1/2")
Width 72cm (28 3/8")
Depth 7.7cm (3")


Price on request

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More about Nocturnus, 2024

Nocturnus meaning ‘of the night’ takes its inspiration from small travelling altarpieces such as the Wilton Diptych in the National Gallery. An ornate silver box studded with stars and a web of planetary roundels opens to reveal a floating constellation of jewel like white gold flowers on a deep indigo ground. The techniques used reference goldwork embroidery found on ecclesiastical robes whilst the altarpiece as a form perfectly balances beauty and function, storytelling and invention, art and craft, spirituality, and practicality. For me it is the most exquisite box of delights. The ability to float between two and three dimensions whilst alluding to a fourth is captivating.

Celestial Navigation uses the stars to accurately determine one’s position on earth and has been used by travellers throughout history. We now know that every atom in our bodies contain elements that were created inside stars, and that those atoms have made long journeys from those ancient stars to us. The box then becomes a metaphor for an inner journey in which we might be reminded of our common humanity and wonder that we are all made of stardust.

Nocturnus encapsulates a journey of the mind whereby the viewer can focus on the intricate details of the earth whilst transported to the heavens - only to be bought back down to earth by remembering that we too are stardust. Such contemplation is infinite, as one is pulled back to the wonder of the night sky, and so it continues.

"I work with dental tools and surgical knives to model the ‘goldwork’ flowers in jewellers’ putty in a resemblance of stitched gold work threads. Moulds are then made, and the flowers and leaves cast in plaster before being shaped, gilded, and shaded with inks to bring out the detail. The piece is then assembled floating one flower above another to create an illuminated meadow of wildflowers and stars."

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