The idea of this project was to make five different small drawn interactions in the environment using only what you find around you.
This was great fun and a return to the simple ‘play’ of childhood.
First piece – Berries around a rock on the footpath. Highlighting a feature which would normally just be noticed as a hazard to step over whilst people walked along the track.
Second piece – Circle of berries in a rock pool. Highlighting a feature which already exists, using natural bright bold colour to ‘colour-in’ the feature to bring it to the viewer’s attention.
Third piece – Crack in the rock highlighted with pebbles.
Fourth piece – Rock pool with yellow leaves.
Fifth piece – Ash keys on a mossy rock. This is more about bending nature to my will than working with existing features.
Sixth piece – Cleared path through fallen leaves. This is a simple intervention to create a path around a tree, inviting passers by to deviate from their route to view the tree from all angles. This piece stayed visible for many weeks which was quite surprising.
I enjoyed making works in the environment, as well as directing the eye of passing people, it also prompted me to look closer at the area, in finding ways I could interact with it and materials with which to do so. It wasn’t always easy to make the materials do what I wanted them to do, but it was very satisfying to finish an interaction and leave it behind for people to find (or not). I also returned to the sites to see how time had started to remove the works.
One of the questions was how do I think the viewer experiences this kind of art and will they know what I have done is art. After making the first piece surrounding the stone with berries and collecting leaves for fourth piece, I got talking to a walker about leaves and he asked if I’d seen the berries around the stone. On saying that yes, I’d created it, he said that it had made his day coming across it! It was great to get such an immediate response like this to my work.
Producing work in the environment is all about making people look twice, something which I believe is the main purpose of art, opening people’s eyes to what is around them and making them question “why?”.