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Finally it came together, the dish that started to feel like it did not want to be made. It took three attempts, three clay casts from the trees.

I wanted to create a gifted object for Owain that was not only cast from something that remained in the place – the three chestnut trees, but that also contained images of the past and a map of St.Mellons now layered and blurring together; it alludes to a pensieve[1] my favourite magical object from Harry Potter. It proved tricky to make and I had a number of abortive attempts before I managed to create what I had imagined the object to look like.

There is resonance between a space unutterably altered and the loss of a person through death, both prompt an awareness of a larger scale that our individual human life is a very small part, which can trouble at our notion of control. How do we deal with feelings of powerlessness? I transform materials and try to create images that provoke the presence of absence as a way of connecting, managing the pointlessness. I reflect on how much of Owain’s passionate defense of the River Severn is tied to trying to save something that has already been lost once already – the magical wild land of childhood place and the trauma of witnessing “its slow death” Jones (2005:241).

[1]            Pensieve is a portmanteau word, combining the words ‘pensive’ and ‘sieve.’ The latter is an object in which something may be sorted, drained or separated, and ‘pensive’ is derived from French, and originally from the Latin ‘pensare,’ meaning ‘to ponder,’ and in common English usage means ‘thoughtful’ or ‘reflective;’ thus a ‘pensieve’ allows for the sorting of thoughts, or memories. Pensive can also refer to a tense mood someone seems to be in, and indeed many of the memories Harry views in it are of tense or awkward moments.

(Harry Potter Pensieve 2016).

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