Tapestry Writings


“The Flight to the Moon”

“96 cms x 63cms Woven 2021 -2022”


Read More About "The Flight to the Moon"

The concept and the context is light, air and spirit.

The tranquil, the calm and the peaceful

It is of life.

Supporting detail and forms include:


Floating on air and tidal waves,

Drifting along, sometimes visible and often obscured.

Each is a glimpse,

Never revealing all of the full story – never.

A chapter perhaps.

Movements are contained, elaborated and experienced through the curving sinuous lines.

Each springing from a source.

Each disappearing.

Petering out into the distance.

A conversation that is tapering away.

Echoes of the rhythms of movement and time –

It is the rhythm of life.”

One of the most enduring sights and sounds of nature I have experienced is that of the returning wild geese flying in skeins across the wide skies of Morecambe Bay. Each autumn they return from the North, their honking calls in the early, still and chill morning herald the change of weather and season. The Pink Feet Geese come in increasingly large numbers to land on the estuary and nearby fields where they overwinter until the warmth of spring is experienced.  With a favourable south or south east wind blowing comes a strong desire to leave. The “Grand Depart” occurs in the spring when the sky is suddenly filled and the sounds reverberate around as they say good bye to return to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. Occasionally I have been fortunate to observe the “V” shaped skeins flying across the full Moon, a truly magical event. Similarly, the arrival of summer migrants, Swallows and Swifts in the spring awakens yet another change of seasons. The yearly cycle in nature, and the rhythm of life is important as it fulfils man’s basic understanding of decay and renewal.

The ability of birds to leave the earth and climb and soar to the freedom of the skies has long fascinated me throughout my life. Not just with identification but their differing behaviours, flight patterns, the colour of plumage and their many and various calls. On leaving the earth and ascending skywards they are able to view from above their environment before returning to land. Their life is one of constant movement throughout the yearly cycle. For me, the spirit, the essence of a bird is symbolic of freedom, expansiveness and vision and understanding of their place in our world, of life and creation.  They signify a link between the spiritual world and the physical natural world with their constant presence in all our lives.

The Moon on its lonely nightly wanderings adds to our narrative. Its constant changes of shapes are emblematic of monthly and seasonal transitions. Its effects on tidal movements, the weather, our legends and stories have occupied man’s thinking for centuries. The lunar cycle has a direct impact on human behaviour. It exemplifies the rhythmic life of the cosmos. The combination of both the Moon and the flight of birds in the sky at the same time is both powerful and profound. By combining the two I have attempted to record something of the emotions of both.

The scimitar shaped Moon, a new Moon, represents a new beginning with hopes and aspirations for the future. It is a positive and encouraging time, the past has passed and fresh outlooks beckon. The flight of a bird where the rise and fall of its wingtips allied to forward motion are echoed in the linear undulating patterns. These wave like configurations are expressive of the movements of tidal flows. Positioning these elements about the curving  horizon it incorporates both the physical earth and landscape elements as well as the air and the spiritual ethereal domain. While the shape of the bird within the boundaries of the Moon’s shape slowly rising and leaving the earth enters into the ether. The essence of the bird is enhanced by a lack of an “eye”. It is a tranquil relaxed scene exploring and echoing something of the rhythms of life. The light airy, misty and nebulous background emphasise an atmosphere in which the concept is contained. It is a story, a conversation but above all a structure in which we share with nature.

This narrative has come from one of my earlier sketch books dated 2014. I have an extended and substantial vocabulary in sketch/notebooks dating from the late 1970’s. It is most illuminating to review earlier concepts and developing them having gained further experience.

Michael Crompton

Autumn / Winter 2021/ 2022