Mother Tongue

1998
Kilkenny limestone
114 x 190 x 110 cm
Edition of 1

Following a series of works which included Ways to Wrap a Stone I and II (1990) and Beneath the Skin (1991), Mother Tongue continues Randall-Page's exploration of concealed form and interior energy. This dark and mysterious pod, with its smooth tight surface, has a rolling folding tongue rippling backwards with implied speed. During the process of carving it seemed to Randall-Page that the sculpture was indeed a fertile, pregnant form, and the right vehicle for his ideas about received language, learned at our mother's knee and possibly even in the womb, while also being an expression of the abstract language of sculpture. The fact that Randall-Page has chosen Kilkenny limestone for Mother Tongue resonates with his concept for the sculpture. This limestone is full of fossilised fragments of shell, coral and sponge which tell of an ancient, former life captured within and revealed through the way the surface has been worked. It is easy to be seduced by this stones materiality, but by treading a critical path between the sheer enjoyment of the stone and the discipline of keeping his concept as the continuing motivation, Randall-Page achieves a work of integrity and beauty. In its placement on the woodland floor Mother Tongue resembles a sprouting seed working towards the light; if we keep Randall-Page's preoccupation with the language of sculpture in mind, literal interpretation gives way to poetry.

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About The Artist

Randall–Page’s practice has always been informed and inspired by the study of organic form and its subjective impact on our emotions. Exploring the dynamic tension between order and randomness, Randall–Page works with naturally eroded glacial granite boulders, carving the entire surface so that the geometric patterns must adapt to the natural bulges and facets of the stone. In recent years, his work has become increasingly concerned with the underlying principles determining growth and the forms it produces. In his words “geometry is the theme on which nature plays her infinite variations, fundamental mathematical principles become a kind of pattern book from which nature constructs the most complex and sophisticated structures.”

Peter Randall-Page

Born: 1954

Other Artworks by Peter Randall-Page at CASS

2000

Womb Tomb

Womb Tomb is formed of two granite elements, each weighing 16 and 25 tonnes respectively. Truly monumental in scale, the…

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