This poem 'The Good Morrow' is by John Donne and was published in 1633 in his collection, 'Songs and Sonnets'.
I've always enjoyed the work of the Metaphysical Poets, people like John Donne and Andrew Marvell, and this poem is one of my absolute favourites. It evokes the radiance of early dawn and describes the light of hope and the essence of the new, of the future, a new day.
I've been working lately on pieces that might be described as 'early digital civilisation artefacts' in this spirit and in particular, some artworks I'm calling [Just Keep Taking the Tablets].
Tablets aren't new, they've come and gone, and in some ways history is repeating itself with the tablets we use so much today. This is something brought into focus for me by looking at the earliest ones.
The more things change, it's often said, the more they stay the same. As we enter a new digital era, what I find fascinating - and reassuring to some extent - is how we are using tools we have around us, just as Egyptians did millennia ago.
The idea of having new human digital capabilities is a thrilling one. Today, we might be talking to Alexa in our kitchen with the same enthusiasm perhaps as our ancestors first used the cuniform or papyrus.
It's hard to know right now if our new digital civilisation will be built to last. Things seem ephemeral and virtual on screen. They're intangible and just out-of-touch, yet switched on, 24/7.
What might we dig up about our history today, one thousand years into the future? That thought intrigues me. And I am exploring whether this digital civilisation might keep us grounded as human beings, or change us completely.
So this piece of work is called [Just Keep Taking The Tablets] for that reason, a reference to the giddy tipping point of the digital world, and a new age, as well as the echoes of the first moments of state formation in ancient times that was made possible by the recording of inventory using clay tablets.
The earliest civilisations encountered their own moments of great change and recorded their cultural history using tablets just as we are now.
So, I wonder, what we might we do with our tablets as part of this digital chapter? How we are responding to the coded symbols all around us and how might these digital hieroglyphics and symbols shape how we behave?
I'm making a limited edition of 100 of these pieces in stoneware, which are going to be framed.
If you would like more information about the first release which I'm working on now, just let me know. I hope they will be pieces that will stand the test of time.