210 x 297mm
Edition of 44
- Supplementary Copies -
Cut Marks is a series of 8 paintings and 8 collages made by Richard Skelton over the winter of 2020/21 to accompany his new book-length poem, Stranger in the Mask of a Deer. Each artwork is beautifully reproduced in this large format, limited edition booklet.
The phrase ‘cut marks’ itself is used by archaeologists to describe the ghost presences of humans in assemblages where only animal bones are recovered. These incisions, preserved for thousands of years, can be read as an unintentional form of communication; unwitting acts of testimony spanning millennia. They amount to an oblique and prototypical form of mark-making that speaks volubly about the visceral nature of living and dying in the Palaeolithic.
Accordingly, Cut Marks (I) visits a series of violent actions on the painting surface, before over-painting them with various pigments, imitating the way fossil assemblages become gradually subsumed by soil. By contrast, Cut Marks (II) generates a collaged scatter of debitage across the painting surface, reflecting the concussive process of making blades, flakes, burins, scrapers and other stone tools.