Week 143 – April 11 to April 18
Letter from Dunnet Head: cosmic egg rolling.
I saw a huge form, rounded and shadowy, and shaped like an egg… Its outer layer consisted of an atmosphere of bright fire with a kind of dark membrane beneath it… From the outer atmosphere of fire, a wind blew storms. And from the dark membrane beneath, another membrane raged with further storms which moved out in all directions of the globe. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias
Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval mystic and nun, had a vision of the world as a Cosmic Egg. She depicted the earth as a chaotic ball of confusion, contained within an egg-shaped universe. The four winds blow through this universe, concealing and revealing the heavenly bodies. Hildegard believed that the winds would eventually articulate a harmony with this chaotic world and the people in it, establishing calm and clarity, inside and out.
On Easter morning we painted the eggs that we had hard-boiled, then placed them in a box, and drove with our children to the nearby cliffs where the lighthouse stands, on the most northerly point of Scotland. The winds were blowing hard from all directions. The islands of Orkney were hidden by mist and the curved horizon was all sea and sky. We pushed our way through the fat and tearing gales and rolled our painted eggs at the edge of the world, through the slopes of heather, putting our hope in ritual, repetition, and the force of the winds.
When I made this series of anthropomorphic hammers I saw them as weapons rather than tools. To weaponise, the weaponisation of, Easter and egg — a free association of words circling round my head and not finding any order.
THE UNTOUCHED- Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, 2023. A primary forest is a virgin forest, which has remained identical over the centuries without the presence of man transforming it. It has therefore never been exploited, fragmented or cleared by human hands and has remained intact over time.
L’intensité lumineuse augmente ou décline. La couleur et le volume des touffes d’herbe et de bruyère varient selon l’inclinaison des rayons du soleil. Le ciel se brouille parfois de nuages. Depuis vingt heures, la steppe patagonne défile sous nos yeux. Le spectacle est envoûtant. A l’avant du pont supérieur de l’autocar, il est panoramique. Un routard assis à côté de moi commente : c’est un film mais c’est mieux qu’au cinéma. Illusion d’optique : nous ne sommes pas assis dans un fauteuil immobile, c’est notre fauteuil qui se déplace dans une steppe d’une monotonie fascinante. La route coupe en ligne droite selon un axe nord-sud un plateau d’où émerge rarement un relief comme une bosse sur un crâne dégarni. L’autocar double un poids-lourd qui plafonne à 80 kilomètres-heure. On voit venir de très loin le camion qui remonte en sens inverse. Les chauffeurs se saluent peut-être comme des caravaniers. En train, il arrive qu’on se croie en mouvement alors que c’est le train voisin qui bouge. On s’en assure en regardant de l’autre côté. La pampa n’offre aucun repère.
“Über das Wasser” / “About Water”
On Easter Sunday at 7:36 am, a loud alarm sounded on the mobile phones of the residents of Hamburg. It was a warning that there was a major fire in the area. Residents were asked to avoid the city, stay at home, and keep their windows and doors closed as dangerous toxins were in the air.
It was difficult to extinguish the fire. It took days until the wind dispersed the toxic clouds that had spread.
I do not know if and how much of the invisible water under our feet, which we walk on every day, was used to extinguish the fire. I had never really paid attention to the small numbered blue ‘water’ signs until now.