Walking: my head full of the usual shopping lists of everyday life – indiscriminate thoughts, picking up pebbles, drawn by a particular shape or colour.
Time: brief moments when things come into sharp focus: the sound of my footsteps crunching on the stones; lapping sea, its ebb and flow; a distant birdcall; the cold biting at my fingers; the weight and smoothness of the pebble in my hand.
Watching: contemplating other people doing the same: collections of thoughts, daydreams, lyrics, hopes and fears - the narratives which we all have and share.
Presence and Absence: present in a time and place, absent in thought.

The concept of a pebble path began to take shape – wanting to enable a sense of place and of being in the here and now.

“I put a bowl of pebbles in the staff room: it has become a ritual
for my colleagues to write a few words at break time.”

“‘Put that on a pebble’ became a new family motto”

This work is process-led. Rather than just my own voice, I invited many different people, of all ages and from different walks of life, to join with me in creating this path. The sole brief was that anything that came to mind could be written, from the profound to the frivolous - there could be no wrong thoughts, no wrong pebbles. This has resulted in a diverse approach and methodology: working individually as well as in groups, some people wanted to share what they had written while some others have found the anonymity liberating, with the result being a collective stream of consciousness rather than an individual narrative.

“It’s addictive – once you get started you don’t want to stop writing”

“I can’t believe how writing on these stones has given me
some time out when everything else was falling apart.”

This work is an ongoing conversation and I hope it will provide a contemplative space into which you may want to join. You are invited to pick up the stones; the words or images might resonate, or quite the opposite – you might want to drop it and the thought with it. You may want to keep the pebble, take it home, or add new stones with your own thoughts. Whatever your level of engagement, I hope some seed of reaction will be sown, drawing you into this moment and place – to recognize a common thread that runs through us all.

“I couldn’t draw at school and so never did art. It’s been a wonderful
experience being able to get involved in making an artwork now”

“What a great group activity – there were fourteen of us, all different ages, writing for hours together.”

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything.
What we think, we become.”

(Buddhist quote)


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All That We Are
Exhibtied at ONE 2014

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Art in The Garden