J a n e t M c E w a n

We Are Petrified

About CLIO

Stones, like human beings, are porous. Some say they actually breathe.

For many years I worked almost exclusively with found stone - walking the landscape close to my home and studio, looking out for stones which would call to me and ‘inspire’ me.

In the Helston Folk Museum Mezzanine gallery I placed a granite riverstone found on one such walk in Scotland around 15 years ago, which I subsequently brought with me to Cornwall when I relocated there in 2006. The form of this stone seemed so perfect; tumbled for who-knows-how-many years in a river, that I could never bear to carve or alter it in any way.

After the breath taking journey through Helston Folk Museum’s vast, quirky and intriguing collection, visitors to the Mezzanine Gallery were encouraged to focus on their breathing…perhaps for a while to sit with this oval stone, on which I etched into the green algae stain the word CLIO, the name of the Greek Muse of History.

Meantime on one of the walls a sepia toned photograph of the Merry Maidens suggested that this stone may have histories beyond the one I have just told. J. McEwan.