Part II: Cup and Ring Marks – The Beginning of a Japanese Stone Garden?
Art is often a way of translating human experience, akin to understanding the nature of something – its essence. Art is also often the desire to replicate what one has seen. Cup and ring marks therefore exemplify the human desire to capture the essence, the nature of what they had seen in rock as a record. Recreating that moment takes real effort, evoking the same unity in pleasure that men and women felt that day is a real privilege for us.
Recently, I have been paying a lot of attention to the site of the cup and ring marks in Glen Lochay, the rocks and carvings, including the rocks without carvings, for they too, I believe, will have some form of meaning. The site of these cup and ring marks is something of a world in itself. One rock I saw became a mountain. A delicate and intricate world of nature's eternal essence – in all forms, whether rock, flower or mountain. An essence that can never be surpassed until humanity places nature at the heart of our local economies – only then we can begin to live life to its full potential.
Sometimes, when I was there, looking at the rocks, I sensed that a lot of water had once flowed here. Equally, having spent a few days away from the site, that possibly it may have been a garden. Sometimes, it feels like one has stepped into a Japanese stone garden, for example. It's also worthwhile remembering when looking at cup and ring marks that although they appear static (inanimate within the rock) they are in fact a record of something in motion. They are a serious attempt to replicate the aesthetic value of natural appearances, with the aim of getting as close as possible to their meaning; their carvings were a way of translating the language of natural appearances.
By Patrick Phillips