I wanted to do something with the dried seedheads of the Welsh poppy, which I have allowed to proliferate in our garden walls and paving. Sometimes they weather to look like tiny wizened hands, but here I have utilised their resemblance to the hulls of boats, or dugouts perhaps. The backing, from which they set out on their journey, is a section of an old wooden measuring rule. The work is, of course, extremely fragile, as strong only as the dried stalks, the symbolism apt for the horribly recurrent news which inspired it, of desperate people setting out to sea. The words on the top of the piece (Forþon me hatran sind / Dryhtnes dreamas / þonne þis deade lif / læne on londe) are taken from the Anglo-Saxon poem, The Seafarer, and though written in an entirely different context over a thousand years before, they are fitting. There are many translations of the words; my own version is: ‘Dearer to me my Maker’s dreams than this fleeting mortal life’.

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