Vessels For Ashes

In the making and decorating of these unique handcrafted cremation urns, I want to celebrate the beauty of the life they embrace. I want them to sing a sweet, grace-full and dignified song of remembrance, not a dirge.

Karen Burk, 2019


“Life is like a flow of water.” (Quote from “The End of Summer”, a 1961 Japanese film by Yasujiro Ozo.)


I face the wall and
dream of water

The peace it brings
flowing cool and limpid

Source, streams to rivers, confluence,
ripples, tumbling water

In silence the moon floats
upon its shimmering face.

Peter Thompson 2018

It is with me now, this remembrance. Time loops back, life outlined upon a blank surface.


Years ago, when I was but a child, in the dark times of 1950s England, I was one of many confined to isolation in a hospital specializing in the cure or containment of tuberculosis.

It was there my interest in surfaces grew: being confined to bed left me with many hours just staring at the walls or ceilings of the various wards I occupied. I began to create imaginary landscapes in my head, tracing through the cracks and blemishes of painted surfaces. The tired scarifications of those Victorian hospitals offered me a way to survive the boredom of these lost hours. With pencil and crayon, I filled school scribblers with endless pages of drawings depicting my imaginary landscapes - rivers flowing between mountains, clouds floating above the moors of the North.

I come full circle with the present series of prints. Down the years, surfaces have dominated my work, often as compositions of accidental marks and abrasions which, presented out of context, transcend the real and open the imagination to something that resides on the edges of my peripheral vision, a secret world of my dreams.

As the title of the work implies, each image represents an imagined landscape dominated by thoughts of water, that glorious element that gives us life and carries us along to the end. The Psalms have many references to water. Two come to mind:

“The rivers have lifted up their roaring greater the sound of many waters.“ Psalm 93

“You send forth springs into brooks so they flow between the hills.” Psalm 104

With this work, I ask myself these questions: Who was I then? Who am I now? In truth, I have no real answer. But in some way these eighteen prints connect both past and present. A sliver of faith in what is good has carried me through to this nano point in time, a place of peace and creativity. I am aware that truth and beauty are only a blink away, waiting to be discovered.

Peter Thompson, February 2019

Artists in this Exhibit