28mm x 17mm

28mm x 18mm

This agate is highly unusual. It's another of those specimens whose outside appearance did not immediately lead me to single it out for any special attention, although later I rediscovered it while sorting boxed material and noted its obvious finesse. It would have likely been collected during 2013/2014 in the area of Usan south of Pebble Rock. As to when exactly I procured it, in this case, that fact eludes me.              

 

            The painterly fortifications here, on the exterior edge are the most finely detailed I have yet seen in a Scottish agate, and also the most bizarre. They remind me of the myriad macabre body parts that litter the strandline.  

 

      That ghostly, rippling central motif, surrounded on all sides by a surrealistic assortment of misshapen remainders of agate fortifications, dissolving like knots of wood into a bright welt of lava trail, is archly bewitching to me. Writhing and uncoiling like melting polythene.

     The bones of those suffering Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.  Impressions of both stunted and convoluted forms. Crustacean claws and carapaces. Arachnid exoskeletons. Dessicated woodlice armour hanging in a cobweb. Collage, frottage, grattage, chiaroscuro .To me these forms suggest Max Ernst, and include colours concurrent with some of Dali's work.  This agate exists within the inbetween. Two organisms simultaneously in symbiosis and conflict, both sharing and stealing, suckling and secreting, consuming and exuding. Spectres at the feast.

 

 

                          I

Photograph by David Dorman.