Sunday, 22 August 2010
RICHARD SHILLINGS ACCOUNT
So what did I learn today?
Well, something quite useful actually. That it's possible to eat cold pasta with two pencils.
I started the day a little bit pickled from the night before, shcatter-brained and dishorganished.
Dave - he who do the MA about Decay - was accompanying me again and I hadn't made my mind up where we should go. For once I knew what I wanted to create and I would rope Dave into help but I couldn't decide where. We would need stone and the first option has some great stone but sadly I'm banned from doing anything there, the next two are next to rivers but the very heavy rain of yesterday would probably mean they would be too high to gather enough material.
So just as Dave arrived I checked the tide and it would be at its height in an hour and half.
We arrived on the coast and the tide was still high but fortunately I had left my camera behind so a return journey home and back to the bay would mean our second arrival to the bay would be timed with it just starting to recede. Perfect.
Along with that the sun was shining and the sky was blue, not what we were expecting and not what the weatherman said. Even better.
I've been putting together another proposal for a commission and the ideas I am pursuing are to do with the fragility of our existence and the possibility that we have reached a tipping point where our actions (or perhaps lack of the right ones) may end up in our own demise. 2010 so far has had the highest global temperatures on record and whether or not you believe that this is man-made or a natural fluctuation of earth temperatures, in my opinion is missing the point.
Human beings have spread far and wide and taken all that they can from the earth in order to feed our addiction to needing stuff and to be able to increase our ability to survive, to protect ourselves from our environment, to keep our families safe and well. But as we've persued these needs with have funnelled ourselves into a trap where our collective future is now uncertain. We talk about saving the planet but that is rot. If we truly wanted to save the planet then it'd be better off if we all disappeared. No, what we really mean when we say we want to save the planet is we want to save our own skins.
In order to represent this I am going to create a series of shelters containing rock balances, seal them up so that the fate of each delicate sculpture is unknown unless you look within. Just as our lust to better ourselves, to protect ourselves from the world and to have a better chance of survival has ripped all the finite resources from our planet and delivered us to a place where this quest has left us with an uncertain future. Will we be able to shelter from what our earth will throw at us now if our climate tips out of control? Will our delicate existence continue or will it collapse like a stack of pebbles and rocks?
There is much more to this project but I don't want to reveal it all now.
Anyway back to the important business of the day:-
My camera wasn't the only item I'd forgotten. When I sat down to eat some lunch I realised I didn't have a fork. I thought that I might be able to whittle one out of driftwood but that might need more calories than the pasta might contain. I looked through my bag and found a pair of scissors and some thorns. Nope, that wasn't going to do it. How about I just stick my face in the food and eat it like a pig? I probably would have done if I'd been on my own. I know, why not use two pencils as chopsticks? They were actually easier to use than normal chopsticks. So if in doubt make sure you always have two pencils with you. Or else you might go hungry.
Dave built the left wall and I built the right hand one. We found some driftwood for the roof and it was now ready for the sculpture to be built within. I tried several times to get the first few layers up but I couldn't sense where the centre of gravity was without being able to stand above it and all I ended up with was backache and a feeling of frustration.
We took down the roof and I begun again. This time, still with effort and much searching for the right stones, I got it to stand. Gingerly we replaced the roof, being careful not to drop anything into the chamber and stood back to review what we had done. Originally I'd wanted to extend the sides and brick up the entrance but I thought it was fine just as it is.
I wonder how long it will last?