'Art as therapy'. When exhibited at Galerie 'O' in Bayeux in 1995, this was how this very personal piece of work was described by a fellow art gallery owner, who looked disconcertingly like Woody Allen.
Before this realisation, I had been undergoing a major catharsis. The divorce process from my first wife, Suzanna, whom I had married in 1985, took two years, two months from beginning to end. As well as causing large financial and emotional damage, this unnecessarily prolonged legal action produced reams of paper costing a total of £6,200. By the end of March 1994, I was in possession of considerably less material wealth than I was before, but I did have an unwanted wedding ring and a lot of unwanted used paper.
It seems there are three options open to the recently divorced concerning the documentation produced : (i) Burn it, (ii) Store it away in the attic, or (iii) Make use of it. I chose to act.
Working in the print department of Loughborough College of Art, all but a few documents were pulped and, from this morass and a solid hand made paper slab was produced. Contained within it is all the vituperation of the preceding legal process. All the recorded conflict, now disassembled was reduced to a raw material from which something new could be built. Only the title of the process, cut from a remaining document and inlaid into the slab indicates the original substance of this single page.
The wedding ring, a golden circle indicating the notion of 'zero' could be disposed of
. . . and it was.
This descriptive account was written in May 2004, ten years after the Divorce Absolute.
Handmade paper using legal documents and one gold wedding ring in space frame.