Neither thunder, lightning nor rain cloud this poignantly humorous artwork that references the importation of phosphorous into the docks by Albright and Wilson. Phosphorous is a key element present in all forms of life.
“The idea for the artwork came from the new forms that are made when safety matches are lit and the subsequent burning that takes place. Though initially alike, each match/life burns in a unique way, so out of fire something new and individual is created, referencing the constantly changing cycle of life.” Robert Stuart Clamp
Robert Stuart Clamp also produced a range of text for Michael Dan Archer’s sweeping nautical artwork ‘Full Fathom Five’. Text is carved into a number of the columns that commemorates seafarers and Portishead’s specific links with the sea. Many of the ideas were sourced during a period of community consultation on the work, in partnership with the Royal British Legion and the Gordano Historical Society.
POEM Also inscribed are lines from a specially written poem paralleling man’s inter-dependence with the sea and the journey through life. Two verses appear on the pillars, whilst the third is included on this website only. In this way the poem continues to surprise and reward those that look further.
This ‘missing’ verse darkens the nature of the poem, acting as an eco warning for the sea and subsequently for man.
The poem has been written so that individual lines stand alone as a prompt to memories, thoughts and feelings. In this way a different poem can be created according to the sequence in which the visitor encounters the lines.
CROSSING IS NOT EASY
Sitting by the singing sea, alone, left behind Feeling your breath on the wind Reaching out to touch beyond the horizon Waiting for the tide to turn Past and future connect, only a memory away Crossing was never easy
The once abiding sea, now darkened, restless, unforgiving Giving so much life, to hold, to waste This roaring primal journey cleansed by constant waves A mutual silent swell turned final spiral dance Waiting is not easy, for the crossing tide Too late, the breeze calms the seething waters
Sitting amongst these grief cold stones, alone too long Hearing the ocean’s whisper, silent on the wind Time eludes us yet, devouring our anger Laying waste to all our dreams We have to go now, make us ready Crossing will not be easy, sailing to be free
1976 – 1984 Head of Art, Ceramics and Design, Backwell School, Bristol 1984 – 1995 Group Manager, Creative Arts and Design, Weston College 1995 – 2005 Associate Senior Lecturer and Assistant to the Dean, Faculty of Art, Media and Design, University of the West of England (Bristol) "I have also been involved as a Public Art consultant and lead artist, contributing strategies and guidelines, and engaging a wide range of artists and craftspeople through out the south west. Since 1999 I have managed the Public Art Programme on the major brownfield regeneration development at Port Marine, Portishead.
I firmly believe that by engaging artists, designers and craftspeople to work and share their skills and vision in collaboration with the community, stakeholders and fellow design professionals, we can improve and enhance the quality of place.
Public art at its best can help create unique places that are enlightening and illuminating. It challenges our perceptions and has t he potential to stimulate our imaginations and transform our ideas. Contributing to a cultural and historical legacy for future generations." Robert Stuart Clamp