Tuesday 24 February 2015

Pictures at an Exhibition

My remit at work encompasses all manner of things that I've not been involved in before. This means that life is never dull, which is an admirable state of affairs, as it probably panders to my goldfish-like attention span. Quite why I've willingly chosen to position myself out of my comfort zone is a complete mystery. Not being much of an adrenalin junkie, and more than happy to avoid rushes of cortisol, one would be forgiven for thinking that I'd be looking for a quieter life these days.

So what could be more relaxing than a tour of an art gallery?

From mid-January until last weekend, one of the local galleries was hosting an exhibition by Orcadian artists, who had been given the brief to create works of art around the theme of beach-combing and recycling.

My employers were sponsoring the exhibition, as it fitted well with our aim of promoting a reduction in the amount of material going to landfill, as well as encouraging some new ideas for upcycling and re-use.

Half a dozen local artists contributed to the exhibition, with materials including natural objects (shells, seaweed, feathers, bones and skate egg cases) and man-made ones (sea glass, rope, driftwood, metal and plastic).

As any creative talent I think I might possess is centred around the written word, the visual and tactile artworks produced for the exhibition filled me with complete awe.

Here's just a few of the wonderful things on display...

Letter press blocks of themed words and paintings by Julie Switsur

Driftwood furniture by Robert Moore

Sea glass seahorse by Penny Martin
With the heavy weight of inevitably, like a storm wave crashing upon the beach, I was challenged to provide something to hang on the walls of the gallery.

Eek! I had no point of reference for this sort of thing, so found it all rather daunting.

However, there was a thorny issue that had been bothering me for some time, so I used this as my muse and channelled my efforts in a different direction.

On Orkney, it is not possible to recycle the plastic tops from bottles. The plastic bottles themselves, yes (if they're Type 2), but the lids, no (even if they're also Type 2). Please don't ask, you'd only be opening up a huge can of worms. And, yes, we do recycle cans (the worms are able to look after themselves, providing they avoid the non-native, invasive New Zealand Flatworm, that is).

After rifling through some of the still unpacked boxes in the garage, I unearthed a photo frame and a sheet of sandpaper. Looking on the work Facebook page, I found a photo of said bottle tops, whilst Google Images provided the outline of a man-made shape.

So here's my comment upon humanity and its likely legacy to the planet...

'Footprint in the sand' by me
Of course, it only occurred to me much later, that had I given it some proper thought, the muse, which maintained my sanity through my late teens. was sitting on a nearby shelf, just itching to release all that pent up angst.

So last week, passers by to Tense Towers could've been forgiven for wondering what the terrible noise was, as ELP was belting out from our hifi and I joined in on the choruses.

The Sage by Greg Lake (album cover design by William Neal)
Here's Greg Lake performing The Sage.

"I carry the dust of a journey, that cannot be shaken away.
It lives, deep within me, for I breathe it every day.

You and I are yesterday's answers, the earth of the past come to flesh,
Eroded by Time's rivers, to the shapes we now possess.

Come share of my breath and my substance, and mingle our streams and our times.
In bright infinite moments, our reasons are lost in our rhymes."

What a wordsmith.



Martin said...

I like it. I assume if it sells well then you will still have enough bottle tops to make further commissions on the theme..
Bottle-top landscape
A patch of green in a bloody scene
Out on the deep blue.
And Variation on the Orkney Flag.

Imperfect and Tense said...

It's been suggested that we make Hawaiian garlands (lei) with them!