Now Wash Your Hands

I have a constant and restless interest in how the things we create are transformed by the depredations of time and the environment. The things we leave behind and the things we work with are often the most dramatically - and beautifully - altered by these processes.

Last week, while travelling in Sardinia, we spotted a marble quarry. The vast workings practically came up to the roadside, a series of colossal and roughly hewn pale steps reaching down into the hillside. Huge and bulky machines parked about the ledges - diggers, dumpers, tractors - were totally dwarfed in scale and seemed more like the carelessly abandoned toys of some giant child.

Shipping containers and shacks dumped near the roadside proved to be basic washrooms and changing areas for the workers. Work clothes like boots and overalls were strewn about, and every surface was thickly coated in pale talc-fine marble dust that altered and muted normally vivid colours.