Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Art MOOC Week 5 - An Installation.

Last week's assignment was a site-specific installation work. I chose to do mine next to the sea near where I live. My purpose was two-fold - I have noticed how often people (including myself) walk or cycle along this pavement, sometimes without looking and noticing the lovely view. I guess when you live here, you get used to it. But I wanted passersby to stop and pause a while - to see the sea.

Along the road next to this spot is a painted number 15  - probably a distance marker for a road or cycle race. I first started thinking about the problem of plastic litter while watching one of these races where  participants were given liquid in small plastic bags - which they dropped next to the road as they continued. Although these were removed by a cleaning team after the race, a considerable amount blew over the fence into the bushes, rocks and sea. I have also noticed how other plastic litter - plastic bottles and plastic bags -  accumulate against the fence. People seem to simply throw away stuff while they walk or drive without thinking about where it lands up. Once I started researching the problem of plastic litter in the sea I was horrified. I learnt about plastic micro-beads in facewash and how they end up affecting marine life. I learnt about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other gyres.  I collected 15 facts about the problem and made 15 cards - the front was embellished with a message to stop and pause a while, and the back had a horrific fact on it. These I tied onto the fence with red yarn.

I also tied 15 packages (wrapped with gauze bandage) onto the fence - each package contained a shell, sea coin or small bit of sea weed.

The installation was completed by positioning 3 dolls (which I made from plastic detergent bottles and caps. and then covered with tissue paper) on top of the fence.  I stencilled the letters S, E and A on their backs. They gazed out over the bay, while below them the cards and packages whirled and twirled in the breeze. Several friends came by to have a look, and a number of passersby stopped to investigate while I was working. L'Usband (cleverly hiding himself) took several video clips.

And so dear friends, I wish you a happy week.
Pause a while
See the Sea.

See The Sea x 15 (plastic bottles and caps, tissue paper, yarn, glue, card, paint, rivets, gauze bandage, sea shells, sea glass, sea weed, bamboo pegs, pen,  ink, installation on fence overlooking False Bay).


Linda Sue said...

This installation is so brilliant, you thought of everything, so effective- Job well done! the dolls out of plastic bottles do have so much character- I want to know them, sit beside them, broaden vision and for sure- care for the sea, the beach, the earth...at least appreciate the incredible beauty of this planet. Wonderful ! Great installation- LOVE!!!

Sarah said...

I saw the people on facebook the other day and was intrigued. This is an amazing piece of work and beautiful too. You have indeed thought of everything! I read about those rubbish patches somewhere fairly recently. Horrible. It is just terrible how much plastic is thrown away these days. I am saving any clear plastic bottles at the moment to make a colour thingamy in the new nursery next term.I was given the idea by a picture in Bazaar Style rather than any environmental thought but they will at least be used again. I didn't know about the micro beads in facewash. How ridiculous and thoughtless we humans are. Your installation will certainly make people stop and investigate.

Leenie said...

As an inlander I still think the sea and it's multiple personalities and beauties is just MAGIC. So sad, so sad when it is used as a dump for trash and toxic chemicals. Your installation is eye-catching and thought provoking. Way to go, YOU!

Denise Kiggan said...

I would so love to have seen the installation. What a delightful blessing to those who passed by!
You've got my mind buzzing with ideas!

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful memories! Le husband with camera, le son on the other side of the fence with camera, le dog... le chic lady in hat working on final touches of this wonderful installation. Then of course all the passers-by, bicycles, Col, scooters, dogs etc ... and the fresh sea air... and, the constant sea that is alive and magnificent and life giving and not a toxic rubbish dump wasteland... How on earth to clean up all the damage xxxx