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          Brucks         2004
          Engraved slate  
          Sizes up to 10 x 20 cm

More engraved slate pieces from my Shetland residency, this time more specifically exploring Pictish engraved symbols. Nobody is entirely sure of the true meanings of the many Pictish engraved rocks in Scotland, I wanted to explore this idea by creating my own mysterious-looking symbols which do tell a story but not an obvious one.

Bruck or brucks is a Shetlandic word meaning left-overs, litter or rubbish. In one sense the slate tiles themselves are discarded litter, probably blown off local roofs and thrown into the sea. The symbols I carved into them tell part of the story of my stay in Scalloway in the instance of my dummy mallet breaking in two on the hard schist rocks (!), a fortuitous accident that forced me to consider other ways of using stone, resulting in these engravings. My mallet handle is now, alas, also just good for the rubbish bin.

If exhibiting these works I would not tell their meaning as I would want the symbols to puzzle people, just as the Pictish symbols do to our modern eyes. Incidentally hammers are quite common in Pictish engravings, it is thought they represent specific trades such as a blacksmith.