Ian Marr grew up in Wilcannia. He has been a visual artist since the 1970s. He developed an interest in stone in the 1990s and sees stone very much as a poetic medium. He has carved a piece of Gosford sandstone for the Watermarks exhibition, with a quotation from Saint Francis of Assisi: "Laudato si’ mi signore, per sor'aqua la quale e multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta (Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and rare and chaste)."
"I like this quote because of its simplicity. What appeals to me is his language and his philosophy: he treats water and the other elements as though they are living things."
I am using a piece of Gosford sandstone about 2m x 400mm x 300mm which I'm carving monumental letters into. The text is from Saint Francis of Assisi in praise of water from his Canticle of All Created Things. I like this quote because of its simplicity. What appeals to me is his language and his philosophy: he treats water and the other elements as though they are living things.
Gosford sandstone is a soft, clay-bound Jurassic sandstone. It's a pleasing stone to carve big strong Roman letter forms into and it's much softer to work than cutting the letters in slate.
The carving will be just the words. Sometimes I feel that by illustrating, you take away the power of the words.
For me, it's been very fortunate that the physical skills of the stonework and my knowledge and affection for literature have come together.
In our family we've been very conscious of water. Our old house was on the Darling River in Wilcannia. The deep pools would go clear and the wonderful water weeds would form on the surface in the summer. It's never been the same since the 1970s with the arrival of the carp.