Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Memorial in Mud

Photo:  The Guardian
I've never been one for  much analysis when it comes to the arty realm. When studying for O-levels, the precursor of GCSEs,   I adored English Language for it allowed me explore write creatively, something I gave up for thirty years as there was no equivalent qualification at A-level.  For fear of being judged negatively I didn't have the guts to express myself outside the educational arena in those days.   Yet I hated English Literature with a passion.   I had no desire to pull apart text and examine it in minute detail.    I'm content with getting the overall sense of a piece.  I love discovering the creations of others that tug at an emotional level rather than cerebrally whether that's done with music, words or visually.  These are moments that seem akin to personal intimacy.

I didn't know about Damian Van der Velden's dissolving mud sculpture that commemorates the 100th anniversary Passchendale until a couple of days ago.  Had I have seen photos of it before I would have rushed to Trafalgar Square to experience it for myself when I visited London on Saturday for it took my breath away.  It's one of those pieces that evokes the type of deep feelings that I'm talking about.


  1. I didn't know about it either. Thanks for highlighting it.

  2. It's a wonderful piece of work and the thing that impressed me most was the effort and skill that went into making the piece, knowing that it would be washed away. It makes the futility of conflict seem so real. Catriona