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‘char – verb: to partially burn (an object) so as to blacken its surface (as adj: charred, as noun: material that has been charred.’

The ‘char’ was moist and heavy, and a little crumbly too. I hadn’t seen it properly since I pulled it out of the fire pits under the trees in Yorkshire all those months ago.

I probably would have called it charcoal or cinders except for the fact that David had written a message in my note book to the curators of his exhibition, saying; ‘please let Veronique Maria take the char from the fire pits’.

I sprinkled the char over the linen bound sticks with all the seriousness and intention I could muster. I was acting as if the material might contain some magical powers which would help me elevate my art practice to the next level, understand the work more clearly or give me deeper insights into my path as an artist.

At the same time I worked at keeping my ego mellow. A good connection to my higher self, whilst always aspired towards, was particularly important here. I needed to be more direct, more open and more receptive than I thought knew how. I was stretching new muscles.

The black chalky material fell over the pale bound sticks and piled high, eventually peeking above the highest cane and spilling over onto the parquet flooring just below the alter.

My concerns about having the material directly on the floor, making a mess, making a permanent, undesirable mark on someone else’s property all came to the forefront again. I was momentarily distracted by this and taken away from the ritual, the intention and the art. In this moment the realm of practicalities, formalities, and responsibilities; responsibilities towards others and not the art, passed through me, until I brought myself back to the handful of char.

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