A couple of months ago we had Steve Taylor visit from New Zealand, so we thought that we'd go over to see Another Place on Sefton Beach. It was the second time that I've been, the first time was about six years ago, and I've been reflecting on our most recent visit since. My immediate reaction to the piece is always about waiting. What are these figures waiting for? Why are they looking so longingly out to sea? Yet, as I've reflected on the piece I've realized that the figures are not waiting but the Sea is.
Here are two photos that I've taken of Another Place. The first one was taken six years ago, the second one about six weeks ago.
Do you see the difference? One is new, clean and smooth. The second is covered in barnacles, it is worn by the sea, it's corroded. The environment is taking it's toll on the figure and eventually the figure will break away from it's plinth and disapear into the sea.
The sea is in effect waiting for the figures to disappear. And in the timescale of the Sea the figures are less than a second. Gone forever and yet the Sea carries on, the tides still turn, the waves continue. Our waiting this advent is, in the timescale of humanity, less that a second, and yet as with those figures on Sefton Beach that doesn't devalue it. The figures are a poignant reflection on the place of waiting within our culture and whilst they may only be here for a short time they open our eyes to see beyond the present.