Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sessile Oak Slab

Sessile Oak Slab, originally uploaded by escher....

Where does the phrase bushed come from? Does sitting in a bush make you tired? Will being beaten with an uprooted bush make you weary? I don't know so why are you asking? Put it this way. I am so tired that if I was attacked by one I probably wouldn't notice.

Funnily enough I was attacked by a bush once. Well really it was a man holding a bush, but you get the idea. We were walking along Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and the man with the bush jumped out at me and I let out a girly scream. This was all the more embarrassing as the day before he did it to someone else and I claimed that he would never surprise me. So I guess my punishment for being such a big head was to not only get the fright of my life but also to let out a girly scream too.

Apparently it's a tourist attraction, the man with the bush that is not me screaming like a girl. Although if I could make a living out of it I'd probably give it a go. There was another guy begging further on from bushman and he had a sign that said "please give me a dollar, I don't need it to travel anywhere nor to buy a cup of tea, I just want to buy some booze and get loaded." I'm all for honesty in advertising so I expect you are wondering what all this has to do with land art?

Your guess is as good as mine.

I shared my land art excursion with three others today. A worm, a beetle and a bloke called Dave. They don't know each other, they came along separately. The worm emerged from the mud canvas and inched his way along the sculpture, the beetle scuttled across the leaves in a strident manner as though he was trying to lay claim to the sculpture by saying "mine!" And Dave is doing an MA.

He emailed me last week to ask if he could come out a-sculpturing with me some time. I said "sure, if you don't mind sharing the limelight with a worm and a beetle." He seemed to be okay with this so I squared the deal by offering him the opportunity to take pictures of me whilst I was covered in mud. If it catches on I might offer myself up for parties and barmitzvahs.

Just to be serious for second, as though that would be likely, Dave is studying an MA in decay. He is interested in finding out about how things change and degrade and thought my land art would be interesting.

Decay is a big part of nature. It is just a point in the whole cycle of life. Decaying matter becomes nutrients for the next new growth, before its death eventually comes around for the next round in life.

If I was to offer up some symbolism for this sculpture then I would say that the mud canvas is the nutrient rich food for all the new life and what the oak tree feeds on to grow and flourish. The leaves fall and rot onto the woodland floor and all their stages are present across the slab. The whole cycle of life is here.

Or as I said to Dave today: "well, that's one point of view, or to look at it another way. It's just some bloke using the excuse that he is making a 'serious' sculpture, to act like a kid and get messy and smear mud on a rock."

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