Sunday, March 28, 2010

Zebra Stick Joins the Dots

Zebra Stick Joins the Dots, originally uploaded by escher....

There is nothing wrong with brown part 3 or 'the stroppy woman in the orange jacket' or 'where has the sun gone?' Or 'can I be bothered to write anything?' Or 'the revenge of the zebra stick.'

Back to the wood again today, similar to yesterday but even breezier. The wind that is not the wood.

I was digging up some dark earth by the stream when someone shouted at me from the road. A cyclist was wondering what I was doing there, must have been a friend of the land owner. I tried to shout back that I had permission to be there, I don't know whether he heard me but he waved and cycled on.

The idea for this popped into my head and I was away, up to my elbows in mud and singing to myself. First the three blobs on the left, bottom one first then the three on the right. Uh-oh, minor hitch. The tree on the right is mossy and the mud doesn't want to stick, at least not to the bark. Each time I pulled my hand away the splat-pat came away with it. Still I perservered willing it to stick and eventually it did.

I carefully selected some complete leaves and then peeled the bark from the joining stick and finally it was finished, all I needed to do now was to take its photograph and for that I needed some dappled sunlight to bring out the colours.

This was how it had been all morning. The sun kept coming and going from behind the drifting clouds casting shadows across the woodland as there was no capony to prevent it piercing to the forest floor. And so I stood, poised, next to my camera, remote clasped in my hand, waiting for the sun to reappear. And I waited. And waited.

This didn't look good.

Slowly the sky began to brighten but only because the cloud was thinning, there weren't any breaks.

I peered through the viewfinder making sure everything was set up right and continued to wait.

And then?!

An orange streak appeared across the background of what I could see. Was this the sunlight that I anticipated so? No it was my partner in her arctic jacket positioned slap-bang in the middle of the frame, beginning to make something.

I dashed over to her and before I could say anything a bottom lip was pushed in my direction followed by a thrown pile of thorns.

"Grrr, my triangles keep spinning around!"

"Can I move you over a little bit please dear, you are in my shot?" I replied.

"Land art is so stupid, why is it so windy!!!"

I understand completely how unruly triangles of bark, obsessed with spinning in the wind can get right on your nerves but I had more pressing concerns that involved clouds and the sun.

I dashed back to my camera and waited once again.

And then?!

The sun broke through and long shadows appeared again and as if by magic, (imagine someone pressing the detonator on quarry explosives) as I pressed the shutter release the zebra stick fell out of the tree!

And you'll never guess where the sun went!

So I waited some more.

After more than an hour I feared that this might be it. There were no breaks in the cloud and it looked even darker behind.

I started to pack up and then it began to rain. I could hear it on the leaves but for some reason not feel it. If the rain has come now then that surely must be it, but as Fleetwood Mac would have you believe 'thunder only happens when it's raining' but as soon as the ground got wet, the clouds cleared and the sun shone!

So I walked back to the car with the stroppy woman in the orange jacket, happy enough that the sun had shone in the nick of time.

There is joy to be had in the knowledge that nature rules our lives, makes us what we are and that she is constantly changing. In our futile attempts to control her we miss the essential rhythms that make us what we are, that affect everything, everywhere and for always.

Spending an hour waiting for the sun to come out from behind a cloud is never wasted time as within each moment there are an infinity of discoveries to be made. I wasn't impatient and I didn't know if the sun would ever appear. That is what I love about land art. Nature is what it is and if it rains and spoils your sculpture then so be it. It is all about experiencing nature as it really is.

Whilst I waited with camera remote in hand I saw a wren loudly calling as it flew in and out of the rotting wood looking for tasty morsels on which to feed, I heard the shrill cry of the buzzard, and a owl somewhere off in the distance, I heard the percussion of the rain onto crisp, bleached winter leaves all before the wind whipped them up into an upside down snow-storm of swirling flakes until they dropped to the ground once again.

It just goes to show, you never know what is around the next corner, what will happen in the next minute. If you take the time to see, to feel the ebb and flow and rhythms of nature then there is so much more going on than one person can experience in a lifetime. And with so many opportunities for peace and tranquility and stillness, just there should we wish to grab them, it is a wonder that so many of us fail to latch onto them , especially when we need those moments the most.

Despite attempts at profundities with this sculpture I am left with images of the symbol of the scouting movement. Fleurs-de-lys anyone?!

I am also left with the feeling that my titles are becoming evermore wacky, zebra stick indeed!

1 comment:

Gina said...

gorgeous work ... lovely writing in great imagery capturing the many moments with a fabulous sense of humour ... nice nice >>> Gina