PYRAMID BUILDERS

Below - The original figurative relief modelled in clay. Carrick's creation of a limited sense of perspective in this scene, just sufficient to suggest distance without undermining the sense of solidity in the bronze plaque and the chapel wall on which it is mounted, and particularly his foreshortening of the legs and arms of the two figures at the bottom left corner of the scene displays a mastery of skill and technique in the challenging medium of shallow relief.

engineers clay

The work is also a triumph of textures as Carrick beautifully recreated the fibres of rope, the grain of wood, the pneumatic firmness of the bicycle tyre, and the unyielding hardness of steel. Like a Dutch Still Life painting you are drawn into the scene as much by texture and the sense of touch as by any sense of perspective. As with a Still Life painting this sensorial exploration and evocation of textures can engender a deep contemplative mood in the viewer, a mood which is further re-enforced as it is reflected back at you in the image of the Engineer in the centre foreground immersed in his writing. Like one of Vermeer's letter readers he draws you into his world of contemplative silence, the moment in time is arrested and his world, your world, stands still.

Anne Scott told me that her father spent many frustrating hours until he finally got the spokes of the bicycle wheel 'right'. A copy of this panel was made in recent years for the Royal Engineers Museum in England.

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