Friday 1 May 2009

Creative Corner (4): Seth's Bundle for May Day

1 May 2009: Reveal Time
Stage 2 in Seth's Bundle Project!
Above: two for the price of one ... my bundle has come adrift.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May...
Sonnet 18, Shakespeare

Welcome to my corner of Seth Apter's (Disintegration Art Project) DisCo - and if you would like to know more, do take a look at Seth's blog, The Altered Page.

Some weeks ago I read about an unusual project on Weaver's blog. I followed the link, and asked Seth if I could join in the fun. I followed his instructions, and set up a bundle of odds and ends in my garden. I went into 'Womble' mode, and tried to re-use 'eco-friendly' materials such as lavender and moulted animal hair. I decided to dilute some turmeric powder for a splash of colour, rather than paint, because it seemed more garden-friendly. I made two handles out of palm fronds, and hung the bundle on a branch of my hydrangea, and waited for the elements to do their worst (or perhaps I should say their best).

We have a prevailing south-westerly wind in South Wales; and sure enough, it was not long before my bundle was blown in two. We usually have heavy rain - and we have had a few heavy showers - but after a very cold winter, we have actually had a beautiful late spring. I now have two bundles instead of one, but other than that, there has not been as much disintegration as I had expected. The turmeric dye has turned from a cheerful hot-sun yellow to a dilute murky brown. The leaves, of course, have grown a lot on the hydrangea: when the dew is not so heavy, I will have to go exploring to see whether there are any earthworms, snails or woodlice under the part that has fallen to the ground.

When I was growing up in Kent (the Garden of England), we used to go to school in an excited frame of mind on May Day. Our teachers led us out to the flowering cherry tree, where we would wash our faces in the dew and dance round the Maypole (I don't think it was quite as long ago as the picture implies!). Speaking of Seth's (Disintegration Art Project) DisCo, I can assure you that our jaunty Maypole steps were a far cry from a student dance! Did you know that St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London is named after the maypole that was kept under its eaves? It was brought out each spring until the student riots of 1517.

At school on May Day we would recite that evocative poem about the loveliest of trees, 'The Cherry Tree' by A. E. Housman. The poem deals with the subject of growing old and the passing of time. Little did I imagine that two-score years later (as opposed to the three-score and ten of the poem), I would be celebrating 1 May with a disintegrating bundle of art! Thank you, Weaver, for the tip-off.


Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I so enjoy your writing style with wombles and such but for some reason I have had difficulty going to your computer is struggling today. I love Australia and you have been a gift to this process that our dear Seth has shared with artists around the globe. Enjoy your May day celebration and I can hardly wait to see where will all travel next in the process journey. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Zoe, ontheroad said...

Adrift it is not uncommon as mine too wanted to travel.

deb said...

Oh wombles, how I want to come home....