Verity Howard is a ceramic artist who responds to subjects surrounding people, history and places. By creating slab built works she captures feelings, moods, atmospheres and a sense of place.
In ‘Sacrificial Stone Series’ Verity explores using the words ‘Sacrificial Stone’ as a starting point, to conjure up a mental image and a feeling of something that may never have been seen before. Through the medium of clay Verity has been translating these images and feelings into reality by creating physical ceramic works.
To Verity the words that evoke the feeling regarding ‘Sacrificial Stone’ are: surreal, stone like, obscured and encaged. By monoprinting using grey slips Verity has created a stone like surface quality to her slab built forms. Furthermore by layering up monoprinted line drawings on to the surface of the work Verity has created a feeling of these forms being obscured and encaged.
For the past three years Verity’s practice has been based around the work and documentation of Alfred Watkins, a naturalist in Hereford in the early 1900’s. The title ‘Sacrificial Stone’ came from one of Watkins’s maps drawn when researching into his theory on Ley Lines. Verity was intrigued by his drawings as she loved the place names marked on his maps, for example: Devil’s Bridge, Flight’s Farm and Sacrificial Stone.
When starting this body of work Verity immediately related the title ‘Sacrificial Stone’ to images she had seen taken by Alfred Watkins of ‘The Queen Stone’ at Huntsham. Watkins believed ‘The Queen Stone’ to have been used as a sacrificial cage. He demonstrated this theory by placing sticks and branches in the vertical grooves of ‘The Queen Stone’. This allowed him to demonstrate how people were caged on top of the stone. Verity was interested by how the title ‘Sacrificial Stone’ had immediately brought back memories of these sinister and mysterious images. Verity was fascinated with how she had started to create images in her mind of a place she had never seen before.