Wall of Crosses
The starting point for this series of work lies back in 2002, when on a visit to the Versace Exhibition at the V&A, I saw some leather jackets decorated with richly encrusted and brightly beaded coloured crosses reminiscent of medieval and Gothic Christian art. Those images stayed with me and a few years ago I started experimenting with making crosses using objects found from the site of my studio at Upton.
The cross, the symbol of Christianity, has been reproduced in so many different forms and styles down through history. I wanted to make something that looked back to some of those earlier crosses, while at the same time used everyday, contemporary objects. I liked the idea of using discarded, mechanical items that I picked up instead of valuable gold and jewels. I imagined a people fashioning a cross for themselves with whatever materials came to hand.
The idea of exhibiting so many different crosses together is inspired by museum display and I first exhibited them in this way for an exhibition as part of Bucks Open Studios 2010. Since then I have continued to make more crosses, experimenting with different shapes, sizes and variations and applying different oxides and glazes after biscuit firing.
The “ATG Cross” or “Ashes to Gold Cross” was made for the Vineyard Church in Aylesbury after they bought and converted a building that was previously owned by the Aylesbury Training Group. Left within the building by it’s previous owners were boxes of mechanical bits and pieces such as cogs, wheels, nuts, bolts and bicycle parts. I took moulds from a selection of these and so made the cross for the new auditorium. It is a permanent reminder of the previous history of the building.