Before making the journey back to Arran yesterday I met up with 6 other ‘resident’ artists at a ‘sharing good practice’ event. A common theme was how to decide when researching/exploring should give way to refining and making. It’s tempting to keep digging, especially when the source material is so rich.
Throughout the Brodick estate; on gates and above fireplaces appears a curious insignia, it includes a symbolic tree being sawn ‘through’ and – eschewing the usual Latin – the word through is written underneath. After much pondering and trying to ‘read’ the significance as something to do with land clearance I gave in and asked the castle guides:
In 1323 Sir Gilbert Hambledon, fleeing from Edward II’s troops, came into a clearing and hid among wood-cutters, to blend in he began felling a tree. The moment the troops arrive is also that in which his tree is about to topple, as warning to the other fellers he shouts ‘through!’ His voice so commanding the soldiers assume the ‘order’ is to move on. Sir Gilbert is saved by a word.
Over the next 4 weeks I shall try my hardest to desist from collecting more material (and lovely stories like this) and to begin the process of winnowing and making.