The starting point for this idea comes from my degree in Archaeology and Anthropology. One strong rhetoric within archaeology is that the placing of standing stones, the burial of the dead and building of monuments all has strong associations with the surrounding landscape. The location of these is seen as a veneration of the landscape and nature and it is this concept that I am particularly interested in.
I wanted to place an object in a beautiful location in the hope that it would draw attention to its surroundings, as a homage to nature. I see bells as a universal symbol of the sacred and an ideal choice for this.
As this concept developed, I have discovered three things that captured my imagination:
In Meissen, Germany, famous for its porcelain, Paul Börner made porcelain bells for the cathedral up to 50cm in height. Thought by some to be a masterpiece.
Secondly, that across the world, past and present single resonant stones or rock gongs, are used as a substitute for bells. The local village of Maenclochog – meaning ringing stone has in the surrounding area prehistoric sounding rocks.
Finally, another local legend. In a tiny chapel built into the sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire St.Govan had a silver bell. Stolen by pirates, it was returned to him by angels and encased in a huge rock, which would ring if struck. Legend has it that the rock is still among the boulders on the foreshore at St.Govans
N.B. The bell was only hung while I documented it hanging in the cave entrance. It appears this has been misunderstood by some and has been seen as intrusive to the natural environment. Had I left it there, I would agree.