While wondering around deserted villages in the mountains of Oman, I was fascinated by the erosion of surfaces that with time, heat, rain, wind and human contact had developed an effect of stillness and ghosts of the past.
The heavy wooden doors that had been painted countless times, now peeling away showing remnants of each layer, creating a mirage of colour and texture. With the wooden door latches which had been open and closed, locked and bolted every night, worn and polished by routine handling and constant use.
The narrow passageways where the stepping stones have been polished by thousands and thousands of bare footed children’s skipping feet or old men hobbling over each step for centuries.
The buildings themselves were mostly made out of sun-baked clay bricks, washed by the rains and dried by the intense heat. The eroded surfaces making perfect habitats for termites, hornets and scorpions.
The wonderful water courses wound their way from the top of the mountain zig zagging through the village. First to fill the cisterns with drinking water and further down dividing into men’s and women’s bathing areas, then finally into the valley watering the mango trees and crops.
Some of the old villages are not completely deserted and the nomadic tribes still cling onto the old way of life. Although one or two of the younger generation hold a mobile phone or hop onto a Yamaha motorbike.
With these images in mind I have returned to my studio and am determined to use these memories and recreate this timeless atmosphere into my work. I have started making some two dimensional wall plaques using natural materials and different clays, trying to combine cracked surfaces and polished porcelains to record these influences.