Elli Crocker


Prima Materia

The genesis for this nascent series of images was an artist residency in western Ireland in summer 2014. I was struck by how the earth had been scraped away to fissured rock in the region known as the Burren—both by the elements and by human activity. It felt like one could see the bones of the planet and could peer into deep layers of human history revealing a tangled skein of sea, land, creature, and story. Casually encountering Ogham runes, dolmens, fossilized animal trails from 120 million years ago, and the moss-covered ruins of ancient structures, one is touched by deep time and profound mystery.

And everywhere in the built environment are the ubiquitous “Celtic knots”, gracing gravestone, signpost, doorway, and manhole cover. At once common and sacred these patterns of line without beginning or end signify the interconnectedness of everything and a sense of timelessness. The knot binds and entangles, secures and ensnares. We humans are bound to the earth and all the things of it, to our own ancient stories, and the life that is yet to unfold.

We stand on layers of life accumulated over millennia, knowing that we too will become part of these strata of spirit, sand, soil, and stone. We stand on the shoulders of those who stood and crawled and crept before us, as one day we will hold the generations that will succeed us. We stand in gratitude and awe, fear and hope.