Wherever I go I prospect for attractive soils, carefully collect them without leaving any visible trace on the environment, and then add them to my growing soil-library. When I use soil in my art I know exactly where all the pigments of a painting come from.
'The Spirit Swirls', Natural Earth Colours on Art Board, David St Maur Sheil, November 2020
At my studio in Lam Tsuen valley, I carefully break down the soil into its many parts – stones, grits, sand, tiny crystals, organic matter, clays and even dust so fine and light it easily blows away. Then carefully reassembles them into striking art works, which emphasise their beautiful colours and textures and reveal the diversity, life and energy within the earth.
‘Calligraphy in Soil’ (detail). A mix of soil and soil elements prospected from around the Lam Tsuen valley and Tai Po Kau, and wood ash and charcoal from pieces of wood found in the feng shui woodland that surround Lam Tsuen Valley.