We Must Remain Silent
Oxidised steel. various sizes. June 2005
A grouping of 7 pod eruptions made for this site as part of the Hardcastle Crags Sculpture Trail, Hebden Bridge, Yorks. This work, and others that I made for the Sculpture Trail, have been included in a book celebrating 10 years of the trail.
This work is about the nature of age and change, about the functioning of natural processes involved in the creation of the landscape as we see it. It is a protest against our anthropocentric short-termist view of the world; we do not see the disruption we may cause to processes that occur over spans of time indetectable from a human paradigm. These processes may be grand and above our line of sight, or they may be tiny and beneath our vision. In either case even if we can see the process we may not necessarily understand its function. The work is a statement about the need to allow wild places to remain unmolested, untouched, un’improved’. It is also perhaps a statement about the limits of knowledge; of our arrogance in assuming that our knowledge always has a benevolent utility - in spite of all our technical abilities we still know, or have learned, very little.
In terms of siting I chose this space because of the rocky outcrops. Outcrops like these always suggest to me a hidden body of geology which lies beneath the landscape, unknown in its extent and interactive functioning as a part of the world except from our shallow topographical view. The grouping of the pods may suggest a similar hidden body of which we see only these small outcroppings, like flowers budding from a gigantic tuber.
The title is drawn from Wittgenstein:”Of that which we cannot speak we must remain silent”. It can be read as a caution against hubristic anthropocentrism.
  Eventually, the work was moved back to Derbyshire for the Wirksworth Festival, and finally to a private garden (below) where it was featured on a regional TV programme.