Friday, July 16, 2010


Just in case, after my last post, you're worried that I'm falling into a sea of sin I thought I'd share the 'other half' of my most recent work.....

The seven cardinal virtues*.....

This work features another (matching) set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, hand cut paper letters, dirt, moss and lichens (gathered from the property here at Sams Creek) - again it is an ephemeral piece, it was set up, photographed then the moss was re-established in and around my garden.


Just like the vice work previously mentioned, this piece started out very differently from where it finished. Originally I thought that this piece would feature 'carved'/ cut lettering into the encyclopaedia page edges, (just as I had done initially with vices) but I changed my mind after all that time spent cutting 'vices' and I shelved this work along with the vices......waiting for the 'solution' to materialise

After I set 'vices' ablaze I knew that virtues would be a very different creature - it took a while for me to arrive at the solution - but I knew that I wanted it to 'speak' of the virtue of soil......

So I decided to cover all the page edges in yummy sams creek soil.... I thought about seeding this with grasses or the like, but I wanted to allude to something else...... so I set about gathering moss and lichens from some of my special sams creek places...

Moss and lichens are simple organisms - (and so it is easy to think of them as innocents) but their simplicity hides some of their amazing characteristics. Moss as most folk know, can only exist in moist conditions, yet many are remarkably resilient to desertification (and if they indeed do dry out, many can be 'brought back to life' with a liberal application of water). Lichens on the other hand are not really plants (and they certainly aren't animals!) - they are found in some of the most inhospitable environments - and so when I imagine the future, where most other life-forms may be fried by climate change, maybe the little lichen will live on..... but then it's important to also remember that lichens glean all of their nutrients from the air - so they are particularly vulnerable to pollutants..... Perhaps it is better to think of moss and lichens as the harbingers of environmental truth.....

and anyway I like lichens, and moss, with its moist, delicious, green fecundity is just a delight to behold! But as much as I like moss and lichens - many people find them pesky..... moss on pavers is not so much fun...

Suffice to say, depending on where you are coming from, moss and lichens may be considered either good or bad.....

somewhat like information and 'knowledge' eh?

* Seven Cardinal Virtues (with English translation)
Patientia - Patience
Temperentia - Temperance
Humanitas - Kindness
Industria - Diligence
Humilitas - Humility
Castitas - Chastity
Caritas - Charity
Each one of the seven cardinal virtues is meant to counteract one of the seven deadly sins - so patience conquers wrath, charity defeats greed, temperance beats gluttony, humility wins over pride, kindness overcomes envy, and of course chastity whacks lust......



  1. fantastic again did you get the dirt to stick to the sides of the books? looking forwards to seeing more

  2. ahhh bless you jane!

    and as for sticking dirt to page edges - I have three little letters for you

    P * V * A

    and with a few heavy duty coats of the stuff you can build up quite a mound

  3. Fabulous, and I particularily love your banner picture.


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx