To the east of Brighton’s Palace Pier, Brighton’s last beach fisherman Rory McCormack has created his own flint grotto out of materials from within a quarter-mile radius of the site. McCormack, a drystone waller before his fishing days, started the endeavour two years ago as the weather became increasingly unpredictable, particularly during the winter months.
With time on his hands, McCormack started by making a low stone wall; originally intended as a flat surface to chop his catches on. The low wall marked the first time he had used flint as a building material, and he began experimenting with what could be created from and within a seemingly bleak landscape. His huge – predominantly figurative – sculptures are inspired by characters from history, from the ancient to the classical; for example, the horizontal recreation of a bronze-age burial site, or his smaller depiction of Venus that welcomes visitors through the entrance of the site. The pieces he uses for inspiration are, in his words, “far enough back in time that you can day dream about it and what it means.” McCormack takes these ancient icons and idols and imbues them with his own meaning, creating them on a completely different scale and in different materials. He likes them because each one is a symbol of a different civilisation, and all were originally created by very ordinary people.
Caption: Rory McCormack in front of late neolithic Balkan figure