"Solve the puzzle, win a lion!"
In 2011 I was asked by the Mayor of Padies if I could do a sculpture for the commune next to a newly landscaped dustbin site.
The only brief that I was given, however, was that the Mayor wanted me to use the old stone that had been kept after renovations had been made to the current Mairie (the old school house) in the centre of our commune.
As the idea gelled in my mind it occurred to me that as I would be using recycled stone for the major part of the sculpture and as it would be next to the dustbins and recycling station I would make one of the themes that of Eco-creativity and try to use otherwise rejected, old, unused or thrown out materials.
I also needed a theme and after a little research found that there was a lion symbol on the coat of arms of Padies.
I submitted several drawings, one was duly chosen and work began.
As I am equally a monumental stone carver and jeweller (I know, one extreme to the other), I thought about Kit William's book in the 1970's, Masquerade, where he combined a children's book, and his wonderful illustrations with an enigma leading to the search for a bejewelled Hare.
With this in mind my simple commission evolved into an environmental sculpture with an enigma attached.
When finished, the sculpture will be 3 meters by 2.2 meters by 2.5 meters. It is in public view alongside the road leading into Padies just by the Church St Germaine.
I have used all the stone from the Marie which I cut with the kind use of the machines at Andy Scott's Atelier pierre quarry in Virac. I was also given a tone of granite off cuts kindly donated by Di Granite Sarl in Burlats, recycled aggregate from the original site, old bottles and metal from the dechettery in Valence.
Most of the work was carried out in public and sparked a lot of interest amongst the local community.
If this project inspires you to contact me regarding future commissions I would be happy to discuss your requirements.