I have been drawn to the fish shape for some time, I love it’s potential for visual drama. The first fish I made had a criss cross of chiseled slabs forming a sort of snow shoe effect (‘Big Fish’ 2017). I like when you can portray something in a pattern using as few components as possible, so it ends up looking like a child might have gone ahead and made it spontaneously out of simple building blocks at hand. After a bit of research I was very pleased to find that one of the names for the fish-shape is ‘Mandorla’ (means almond in Italian) and that it’s said to be one of the most ancient symbols known to humankind. It’s also known as the ‘Vesica Piscis’, which apparently symbolises the sacred geometrical pattern of life on Earth.The idea of casting sticks in bronze came about one spring when birds – nesting in the roof of our forge – left a fresh supply of twigs on the floor every morning. I have since collected the appropriate sticks around the grounds of Russborough – beech seems to be especially suited. It fits right into my ethos of searching for fundamental shapes to build with. The world can get a little complex at times and so to counterbalance I’m attracted to portraying what’s fundamental, primal and natural.
Gunvor Anhøj 2020