In 2010 my friend and colleague Osvaldo Paesano, a painter, trained like me at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, and I held a joint exhibition entitled Geometry of Beings in Newburgh, Fife. The exhibition represented two years of exploration and early on we chose not to see much of each other’s work although we did talk about it over coffee in the staff canteen. My interest at that time, and an interest that I still enjoy, were the marks made by medieval stone masons when they created the great and not so great churches of Britain. It started when I visited a small parish church not far from where I live on the east coast of Scotland. As a schoolgirl my art teacher had enthused me with a love of architecture and this little church was in his opinion the best example of Romanesque domestic architecture in Scotland. However I had never been inside the church until 2008 and when I eventually went in I was immediately captivated by the marks on the stones that made up the arch in the nave. The marks just looked like stitches on fabric.
My investigation for the work involved reading about the stone masons who built the churches all over Britain after the Norman Conquest. This little church, St Athernase in Leuchars, Fife, was built about 1178 and what fascinated me was the fact that some of the signature masons’ marks were also found in Durham Cathedral. This meant that some of the masons travelled over 200 miles north of Durham to build this tiny church in Fife – I was fascinated by this journey and how the masons lived very much outwith the constraints of civic life – they were ‘free’ masons.
This gallery is the work that formed my part of Geometry of Beings.