Swarm of Desire



Every pomegranate bursts open and murmurs with bees;

And our blood, in love with whoever will seize it,

Flows for the whole eternal swarm of desire.

This artwork has been inspired by the poem L’Apres-midi d’un Faune by Stéphane Mallarmé,. The erotically charged poem tells of a faun who encounters some nymphs in a forest, and alludes to the longings and desires of the faun in the heat of the afternoon. The poem caused quite a stir when it was published in 1876 and inspired the Debussy music Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

When researching this artwork I was excited by the way that intertwined branches and roots of trees looked erotic in the half light of woodland undergrowth. My final intention with the work is to have it installed in a forest so that it can be discovered like the faun found the nymphs.

Mallarme held that the poet should express the ideas of a transcendental world, that poetry should evoke thoughts through suggestion rather than description, and that it should approach the abstraction of music. My intention is that this artwork will evoke a romantic afternoon picnic in a secluded woodland setting!

Materials: Paperclay, earthenware slip, commercial stain & glaze, burnished gold

Dimensions: 30cm x 30cm x 40cm height

Price: Each work £350 Set of 3 works £700

Date: March 2006