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).