My second day at Halen Mon has been a day of finding connections and correlation. There’s the fascinating visual likeness between the mountains of Snowdonia visible across the Menai Straight, and the pyramid-like salt crystals produced from the Menai Straight water.
Then there’s the intriguing similarity between the colours of the local countryside and coastline and those of the various Halen Mon salts.
And finally there’s salt and art, linked together by chalk and gypsum. Chalk is used as a filler in paint and to prepare grounds for painting. Gypsum is crushed and dried to make plaster of paris. Both are formed when seawater evaporates and are by-products of the salt making process.
Seawater > gypsum + chalk > salt
Can this process be reversed somehow I wonder, and art made with all elements rejoined?
Chalk + gypsum + salt + water = ?
Tomorrow will be my 3rd day here before I head back to my studio in Cardiff. These have been a precious few days to me, almost like a mini residency, and have given me time and space to explore new surroundings and thrash out new thoughts and ideas. I can feel my practice developing in new directions which is very exciting, with new artworks begging to be made. However I mustn’t lose site of one of my aims for this collaboration which is to work with Halen Mon to produce site responsive art which can also be displayed at this location. And to do this I must keep in mind the use of more robust materials too: slate, stone and perhaps transparent panels to call to mind the sea, water and scenery of this fantastic location. After today there are the makings of some great ideas on the table. Let’s see how we can move them on.