Long before humans appeared on the earth, stones shaped the landscape in which we now live.
Stone has been quarried for thousands of years. The world’s first stone structures are found in Malta, the prehistoric temples of Ggantija dedicated to the Great Earth Mother 3600-3000 BC pre-dating Stonehenge and the great pyramids.
The cultivation of food started in prehistoric times, whilst the first evidence of gardens dates back to Mesopotamia 3000 BC.
I look at a garden through the eyes of a sculptor, forms of plants, observing with intrigue how light and shadow wraps itself around each aspect of them and how it changes over time.
I am an impossible gardener, which led me to give up my allotment long ago, as it is better taken care of by a plant and vegetable enthusiast who has the skill and practical passion for a garden. I stick to working out how a white or pale green helleborus-orientalis catches sunbeams and cast shadows.
Growing up in a religious family I spent a lot of time in churches, passing my time looking at sculptures and beams of light hitting through stain glass windows, which build the foundation of my work as an artist today.
I have carved stone for over 20 years, I enjoy the physicality, simplicity and directness this ancient material requires to take shape.
When working on a small scale by hand it needs time, skill and sensitivity to develop a form, carving stone on a large scale the sculptor deals with another range of issues like weight and mobility. For the viewer, a monumental sculpture allows us to experience the immense awe of scale.
Paul Hervey-Brookes, award winning garden designer and RHS judge approached me last year with his design for the 2017 RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 'Quarry Garden' sponsored by the IQ (Institute of Quarrying) the brief is to carve a crack into a solid stone wall 3m high, 15m wide, 40cm deep.
I have a fascination with quarries, their history, the skill and strength it takes to cut stone, transport stone, build with it, sculpt it, a long tradition, ever changing. Quarries change the landscape for ever, over ground and underground, they are brutal but a haven for wildlife in their abandoned stage.
Over the past 100-years skills and machinery used in quarries have changed drastically, from quarrying with simple tools, levering, splitting or channelling the stone, today's quarry workers make use of 3D scanning technology, cutting with giant saws and piercing stone apart with water filled pressure pads.
For artists too tools have changed, for example with this project rather than carving it all by hand I will work with experts operating CNC cutters to carve the different panels (software that creates program codes and instructions to run a machine tool).
Gardens go through seasons, they are exposed to varying light conditions, gardens need light and warmth to grow plants.
'Passing Light' draws attention to the ever-changing conditions of light and dark as it develops 'events' through the forms of its internal crack.
Following the '2017 Chatsworth Flower Show' the 'Quarry Garden' with this installation can be viewed in the National Memorial Arboretum, where it will be permanently displayed.
'Passing Light' is a contemplative sculpture, offering the opportunity to stand still and let things of simple ephemeral beauty happen, anchored in the rigidity of solid rock.
Discover more about Ann-Margreth Bohl at www.annmargrethbohl.com