The bench set round the great ash tree (see ‘Mare Nostrum’) has an inscription evoking the sound of the sea –
THE WAVES’ SHEAVES
THE SEA’S NAVES
and at the same time weaving a series of images which link the marine, the pastoral and the sacred. The toppling shapes of the waves are set beside wavy topped sheaves of corn stacked in the fields to dry, and finally the central aisle of a church suggests the long hollow between waves. The last element is in the derivation of the word naves – from the Latin naves, meaning ships.
Inscribed wooden bench in three parts, Vincent Butler, c. 1973