Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Cliffs extrude from hairline cracks. Slurried sediments
recall clouds. Colours infiltrate and horizons
are pressed into being, forced flat.
Perspectives navigate blindly beneath towering cliffs,
strange enough for not being more strange. What place
is this that was not, yet might be?
Unknown birds wheel round the crags and turn
lost thoughts to pecked out eyes, marmorial silence.
Whoever lived up there emerged from clay
and came to imagine each thing in its Cartesian frame,
cut down and seen in relation to what it might be:
a hand that couldn't help restore a powdered sea.
The image above is not a painting but an example of 'Paesine', a sedimentary rock formed some 62 million years ago and quarried in Tuscany, Italy. The rock is a kind of marly limestone called "Calcari alberisi" in Italy which has been quarried since the 16th century. When the rock is broken open or sliced, images can be observed on the surface which recall natural landscapes such as cliffs, the sea, towers, steeples, ruined villages, blue skies and clouds. This unusual aspect is due to mineralisation brought about by water which circulates through the rocks underground, penetrating between the calcareous beds and through irregular fine cracks.
Image and text © Jonathan Wonham