At a Crossroads in Life, 2016.
This handmade sign post replicates an Australian railway crossing road sign. The art work uses the peaceful and tranquil church as a place for its viewers to contemplate the directions they’ve chosen to follow in life. The sign rejects its principle purpose and instead points in more than two directions, demonstrating our own life choices. Asking us to reflect upon our own lives, the artist invites us to consider the crossroads we’ve been at, and how those big decisions have impacted on our day to day life.
The plaster having just set, I took the black paint with me to paint the base on site. It was extremely tempting to leave the plaster exposed (as shown in the bottom right image) but as much I loved it, it did take away the focus from the signs themselves. So I carried on and left just a glimpse of exposed plaster. The base was even better than I’d hoped, providing a strong structure and hinted just slightly at the handmade post itself. Taking the post outside to finish the final touches, I assembled the railway crossing structure, then added another direction, highlighting our real life options, the crossroads which we face.
My risky idea paid off! The one thing that really needed improving from last year’s post was it’s base. It was touch and go whether it would stand, so this year I needed a much more permanent solution. I’ve used plaster before in other art works so I know it’s a great firm holding agent. But would it work for this? The idea was to use the empty paint pot from the build, mix some plaster, then pour this into the pot surrounding the pole. I had no idea though how I was going to keep the post upright and straight overnight. After a long balancing act using protruding stones from the wall I began to pour in the mix of plaster. I left it there as I went to work fearing that when I returned it would no longer be upright! Yet in the morning as I removed it from the wall, I was so happy to find it had worked! The plaster had dried and it stood up proud and tall!
There’s nothing like a deadline to get you motivated to make! It was all action stations getting this piece ready in time for the set up date at Greystoke Church. After all the big decisions had been made, that all important red paint, (I opted for a deep red, fence paint) and the style and thickness of wood had been decided, it was ready to get building. It was easier this time having all the experience of last year, I was a little more confident with my sign building skills.