This is a sketch, not my usual description of what I see but a sketch all the same, and, it’s in progress worked in wood, canvas, pigment and bee’s wax. It's made with found objects and given things. It’s a collaborative effort made from materials willingly and unknowingly donated, given by some wonderful people.

The subject being sketched, is The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, It was called Durham Cathedral when I was introduced to it as a child, and, apart from the sky it was the biggest thing I’d ever seen. I first went there with my mates after hearing stories from tendentious teachers who obviously wanted to keep alive the glow surrounding the story of the history of the place and people. The magic must have worked for generations. The presence of the massive structure became a framework for the truth to adhere to, enduring through the centuries.

This Norman building is iconic from many angles, viewed either in the landscape or up close and in detail. Here, I’ve shown some of the cardinal views flattened. (Some of the interior details appearing on the outside of the relief.) The piece as I make it gives me the essence of many memories over my lifetime. The Cathedral was always there for me and for every visitor over centuries and to all who feel drawn to visit this architectural wonder.

My sketch started as a memory of my senses, sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of exotic foodstuff (some found at the new Wimpey bar) and all my sensual revelations felt during trips to the city. The overriding draw and the highlight of the visit was the magnetism of the Cathedral. There was always an anticipation of the sheer weight and gravity pulling me up the cobbles of Saddler Street and Owngate. The stories compelled me to see the tomb of Cuthbert when I was first allowed to travel at the age of twelve. After trying to be reverent we'd then run up to the top of the main tower recounting invented tales of what it must have been like to have been a knight.

The main piece is sketched from wood, both hard and soft, including apple, oak, poplar and pine. It’s held together with linen canvas and glue and beeswax. The memento-mori box on the left is oak, with oak pegs holding it in place. This is my framework with my truth adhering to it in a way that allows me to make sense of what I am doing when I'm doing it.

The Castle so far, is made from one piece of wood, and is in the early stages. The relief is also relaxed with the laws of time and space; as the main door roughly South facing, is on the North facing side, and the crypt is hanging from the exterior walls; as I said, it is a work in progress.

A Work in Progress