Portland Stone Residency - 1999During September 1999 I was a resident artist on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. I worked with the artist Emma Lay in Tout Quarry to produce a piece of work inspired by the touch of the quarry men who quarried the Portland stone for St Pauls Cathedral, by hand. I worked on site, in the quarry and lived in the Tout Quarry Trust’s beach hut in Church Ope Cove. I lived and breathed the Portland air and stone for a full month.
The piece of work that I produced was then exhibited at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery in Farringdon, London. The piece was a carved piece of Portland capstone, the stone that is normally cast away. The stone was specifically chosen for its weight and size. It was then ergonomically designed to fit around the body, when you lifted it into your arms. The sections where your body, hands or arms came into contact with the stone were carved and smoothed away to produce a final piece of stone that related to the body.