Made of contemporary materials in the form of a knotted rope sphere, this sculpture is a memorial to an ancient walk across Devon, the Mariners’ Way. The 73 mile route is represented by knots reflecting the steps taken in the walk.
The Mariners’ Way Walk is an ancient journey crossing Devon; from Bideford on the North coast to Dartmouth on the South. The journey was undertaken by seamen wishing to change ships. Although the walk was treacherous, the shipping industries were of such importance that this journey proved lucrative.
Today a weather-beaten stone cross and a traditional Medieval Longhouse mark out where this ancient route existed. Traces of the track now echo in the traditions of Dartmoor.
The use of the half-hitch macramé knot is important on several levels. It works as a physical representation of the steps undertaken by the mariners; in a medium integral to their lives.
This traditional maritime skill would have had both a practical application in their work and served as a form of artistic expression.
Mariners used knotting to create decorative pieces of macramé, that they would often sell on their travels.
Edward Crumpton was born in North Devon and studied Fine Art at the University of Lincoln.
Photograph © University of Exeter