Friday, September 16, 2011

Norwegian Maple Autumn Fire Wheel

I've got a thing...

I've got a thing about my rear windscreen wiper...

You see, it only has two settings...

On...

Or off...

This really bothers me...

In my old car it used to be intermittent...

Swish...

Wait...

Swish...

That's how I want it...

But in my new car it does too much...

Swish, swash, swish, swash, swish, swash, swish, swash, swish, swash...

It is very distracting. So much so I can't concentrate on the traffic in front. All I can do is look at it swish-swashing in the rear view mirror.

You see, I'm worried about wearing it out. I'm not going to get my full entitlement of swishes, let alone swashes.

Mostly we consider ourselves to be logical, rational creatures and yet we are surrounded by the evidence of our neuroses, contrariness and irrationality.

Why will I quibble about something cheap being twenty pence too expensive? When I will happily waste one hundred times that amount on something I don't need.

We all know it's better to take the long way round a traffic jam, even if it takes longer, as at least you feel like you are achieving something when you are moving forward in some way towards your destination.

I'm quite happy to switch on my front windscreen wipers whenever it looks even slightly cloudy on the horizon, sometimes putting them on super-fast just for the hell of it. But their less able and incapable rear window cousins couldn't deal with such abuse and I worry how they'll not cope with their current workload.

So just what am I banging on about?

I guess it's something to do with the direction I want to take my life in. I hope to shed off the assumed, the incorrect, the downright delusional. I want to replace the false and blinkered and harmful with something more succinct, more truthful and more accurate.

Don't we all...

The question is "how to separate one from the other?"

I suspect I need to answer that question before all others.

Perhaps that's where art comes in?

Note to self...

If you want to search for answers, through art and through living a life. Then perhaps it would be a good idea to do some and make more of your life whilst you're living it.

Note to self...

Stop making excuses that you're working too much, or uninspired or plainly can't be bothered. It won't happen unless you invest the time and stop worrying about whether there's a point.

After all there isn't a point until you make one and even then one may not materialise. But what is certainly true:-

You can guarantee there will be no answers if you give up asking questions altogether...

Swish-swash, swish-swash, swish-swash...

I made this sculpture almost exactly a year ago. A few days past I went along to the tree I gathered the leaves from and it is producing the same colours as back then. But I'm having trouble reconnecting with nature just because I haven't put in the effort to create as much this year (see excuses above). The disconnected feeling breeds discontent and the solace I seek from that connection being missing makes me feel a little adrift.

There are other trees from which I gathered leaves last autumn that have not put on the same show this year. Some crab apples nearby, were ablaze with hundreds of hues and yet this year only managed green, yellow and brown. But it's not enough to notice this whilst passing, it's time to become more wholeheartedly involved.

It seems I'm the one who hasn't been listening. Many times I've said land art is all about the process, the doing, the feeling, the seeing. And it's high time I tried to remember that as autumn will be over all too soon.

A life lesson about fleeting existence, the transience and flux of all there is. If you don't take the time to stop and listen then that moment is not grasped but gone forever.

Note to self...

5 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

Even if you're 'Landart' was crap - which of course it isn't Rich - your 'write up here is 'something else' which I enjoyed beyond words....well almost!

Kind Regards Pete 'Birds2blog' Woodruff.

emmanuel said...

so, i didn't understand all the text but i am just in love with the creation : when i talk to you about land art and artisan, it was exactly this sort of creation that i had in my mind.
Amazing we are such in the same way of feeling about art and nature. About nature and culture.
Goldsworthy is great but, man, you are your own master. I love Goldsworthy, I love Drury, and i love your work. And... am i loving my own creations? Yes, because of you.
Thanks!

Jane said...

autumn was very early here and the weather is so different from last year, so comparing might not be the best thing, love the rant, here this year there are way more berries than last year, and the leaves are falling quicker due to the wind, noticing nature and giving yourself a break will help inspire you , love the rant btw

Richard Shilling said...

Thanks Pete, glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks Emmanuel.

Thanks Jane. It's one of the most interesting things about land art, how things change from one year to the next. There are some things I've made, especially from autumn leaves, that were only possible for a few days, as the colours present were brief. I then found in subsequent years that the same thing wasn't possible at all. I would never have noticed the variations without making the sculptures, and I find it absolutely fascinating. So I am not disappointed in the least when I do not find the same colours a following year, in fact it just deepens my interest all the more.

Thanks for stopping by, all.

Richard

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

It's a year later. Still colorful. I'm very attached to my wipers in much the same way.

I live on the western slope of Colorado where the sky is blue, the rocks red and the leaves are just starting to turn brilliant yellow. This was good for my soul. That sounds a little corny, but it really felt good.