THE MARRIAGE KNOT
Wormiston, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland
Commisssioned by James and Jemma Macallum
Jemma and James Macallum wanted a mosaic to commemorate their marriage and to serve as a venue for future marriages held in their house and grounds.
Work on two new pavilions and the grounds was being carried out by the Edinburgh based architects, Simpson and Brown. Joel designed a Celtic Cross mosaic for the main lawn and, in collaboration with John Sanders of Simpson and Brown, designed the landscape around the piece.
The mosaic is framed by the ground plan of an ancient Scottish chapel. The whole site is sunk into the lawn with steps leading down to it. The effect, as requested by the client, is of an archaeological discovery- a work of art unearthed.
The Marriage Knot incorporates original knot-work and key patterns designed by Joel. The bottom panel of knot-work pays homage to the designer's forebears, adapting an existing design to incorporate a pair of (engagement??) rings. The second panel, The Lover's Labyrinth, is a key-pattern labyrinth with two entrances, one for each of the lovers (or betrothed??). Whichever way the lovers go, they are destined to meet in the middle. A small panel of mosaic shows two snakes entwined, devouring each other. The head of the cross presents the couple with two wedding rings and a carved stone centre-piece that can be filled with oil and lit for special occasions. As early chapels were built above underground streams, the main drainage pipe for the lawn was laid directly underneath the transepts of the cross.
"... The Marriage Knot is at once timeless and yet contemporary. Highlights on the knot-work create an effect that it almost like spray-can art. "