Day 15: serendipitous snail

Roman SnailParking at Bignor Hill, I commenced the walk of the itinerant stone worker heading south to Stane Street, and promptly chanced upon a huge Roman snail – named so as it was introduced to this island by the Romans (AD 43–410) and was no doubt then a tasty banqueting item at Bignor Villa nearby.

2015-06-13 10.10.10The snail is now on the IUCN ‘red list’ of threatened and endangered species and this was one of a solitary colony now on the South Downs. As I reached Gumber Farm and the new site of the stone, my eye was drawn to some of the marks left by one of the West Dean-trained visiting sculptors – a few spiralling lines, but enough to be snail serendipity in my eyes at that point in time – with snail-tinted spectacles, so to speak. And that is exactly how imprinting occurs during the improvisation process; one links something fairly ambiguous and unclear in form (like this stone marking) and apportions a narrative or level of importance to it, which may elevate its consideration in the stone.

Whilst they probably weren’t snacking-while-marching items to be tossed toward the Northwood boundary, the imagery has the potential as a supporting sculptural form, being unique in the National Park and so close by.

20 visitors from Bognor, London, Horsham, and Birmingham today; walkers and cyclists mostly. The last visitors of the day scribed tree forms upside-down, in case the block gets turned. Cunning.

See you at Gumber Farm again on Sunday 21st June and Saturday 4th July!
The stone moves on to Bignor car park on 7th July.

Bignor Roman Villa

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