Presenting The Vault Vessels series in Volterra - still one of the undiscussed capitals of alabaster - implicitly draws a significative link between different lands and narrates a fascinating story of the spread and use of this stone throughout the centuries and across Europe. On the one hand, alabaster is a symbol of the geographical area between Volterra and the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the other, it was a common material used for sculptures, panels for altarpieces, and free-standing decorative objects in England. Exploring this lost craft tradition, Palmer abstracts old symbols of devotion, rendering them in new pure and minimalist art objects made in delicate and translucent stone.
Oscillating between lights and reflections, concave and convex surfaces, The Vault Vessels encompass both the lightness and strength of the complex architecture of vaulted systems, exploring the relationships between geometry and abstraction, and the form and function of the object itself. Their form recalls some of the key elements in Romanesque-Gothic religious architecture, such as the archetypal pointed arches and junctions, the alternation of lines and nuances, and above all the energetic movement upward. As in a play of cross-references, all these features are evoked in the octagonal plan of the thirteenth-century Baptistery of Volterra with its characteristic black and white polychrome outside.