Friday, September 10, 2010

Sessile Oak Tendril Spiral Decay

My mud sculptures, as soon as they are finished, develop a life of their own that reflects the elements and weather conditions that each one encounters. Each one that I have made as behaved differently and decayed at different rates. The first one I made was the Oak Leaf Colour Square. It was out in the open with no tree cover and it was very windy and rained soon after. It was gone pretty quickly.

Then I made the Leaf Lightning Sculpture and this lasted considerably longer. There was tree cover and the weather conditions were fairly stable, not too windy, wet or hot and the mud coped better.

The Rowan Berry Swoosh lasted quite a long time and I have nine shots of its slow decay over subsequent weeks. But the weather pattern we had recently was perfect to destroy a mud sculpture quickly.

First it was very hot and this dried out the mud, making it crack and lose adhesion to the stone. Then it was very windy and the leaves were torn off the surface and finally it rained heavily and the dried up, loosely attached mud was easily washed away.

I don't find this at all disappointing though. I find the fact that they develop a life that reflects the elements fascinating and how a photo series can depict not only the compostion and the materials but also how those materials change and decay and how quickly they do because of what they encounter. My mud sculptures give me a little window into the life of a leaf stuck to mud.

Just a quick aside. I've been creating a new smaller version of my book Transience, exactly the same just smaller and cheaper to purchase. As I was loading up the completed version I was sitting watching the load up screen and could see the cover in front of me. The title's spelling had changed to Transcience! Where had the extra 'C' come from? How was this possible since I had already created all the pages for the original book and all I was doing was resizing them? I hadn't typed a single letter anywhere! Anyway I just caught it in time and cancelled it. I would have been very annoyed if I had published it with the title incorrectly spelled!

This Spiral was created on 8/8, second picture taken on 3/9 and the third on 7/9.


FeltFinland said...

The second spiral picture is just amazing - the cracking and the colour change are perfect!

Richard Shilling said...

Thanks FF. I agree! Mother Nature's touch has more finesse than mine ever will!