A monument to what matters
My large sculptural piece is inspired by the idea of change- both physically in the form of the piece and in the hearts and minds of the viewer and participant. I am sure many of us have asked what is important? What really matters to us? I don’t think any of us would answer a flat screen tv, or the latest pair of trainers, so why is it, that these ae the things that we seek.
My piece aims to give people the opportunity to stop and take a few moments to think, maybe re-evaluate what is important. the act of doing is important, when we touch, explore and participate, we interact with a piece at a deeper level than seeing alone. So, by encouraging participation, I hope to reach many people, not just those that are willing to take part, but also the curious observers on the side-lines
I propose to build on my earlier works, by building a monument from large cardboard boxes, preferably the ones with branding and logos on, to create a tired structure with flat surfaces and nooks. It would then stand as a monument to commercialism and consumerism. A maker station will then be constructed from boxes alongside the monument, where bystanders/ passers-by, could join in becoming participants. They would be given the opportunity to draw or colour on to a pre-printed frame of something that matters to them, or to write a pledge to change something, e.g. ‘I will spend less time shopping and more time in nature’
These pictures and pledges could then be added to the monument, obscuring the logos and branding on the boxes and in doing so, changing it, to become a monument ‘to things that matter’ participants can then add a candle in a jar (battery if a live flame is not allowed) to the various shelves and nooks within the monument. The act of drawing a picture or making a pledge will help to confirm these thoughts and standing for a moment, lighting a candle, watching the monument transform will hopefully have a lasting effect
This large-scale piece would be around 7ft tall, 8ft wide and 6ft deep, it could be installed on the day, but would be better being trialled in advance, then deconstructed and flat packed ready for installation. It would ideally be sited in a public place, surrounded by consumers and particularly casual shoppers, who are out looking for a bargain, rather than something that they need.
The smaller version or gorilla project reflects the lager monument, by creating small monuments of ‘the things that matter’. It is a project which could open conversations that are capable of changing people’s behaviours.
These small monuments could be made in individuals’ homes, as adults, with children, in schools, youth clubs, organisations and community groups, they can be displayed individually or in groups as a celebration of ‘what matters’
The materials used are readily accessible, cereal boxes, containers and packaging, trinkets and natural finds such as shells, pebbles and pine cones. The additional craft materials could be shared, especially if working in groups.
Now and then
What is the difference, what I am describing is the difference from what we find discarded from before the early part of the last century, before the invention of Bakelite in the 1930’s there were no plastics and so rubbish from before this time was mostly inert such as ceramics, stoneware and glass, food came from the garden, or from the local shop in baskets and paper bags, left overs went to the compost heap or the pig and chickens, bones to the rag and bone man.
But in today’s society, what do we do with the things that we no longer want? Or is that the issue in itself, or at least the part about want? When did we lose the ability to discriminate the things that we need from the things that we want?
As we have moved into an ever more consumer led society, we have amassed so many possessions that our homes are crammed full of these things. We watch videos and read articles about the art of decluttering, or look at minimalist living in tiny houses, but what do we do with these things that we realise that we no longer need?
Do we just throw them away? Where is away? Landfill? developing or poor countries? incineration? So, what has changed, from what is relatively recent history, when we had less and looked after what we had?
Is it the materials used in the production and their relative cost? With the introduction of plastic, it became possible to mass produce low cost, low quality products, which we could purchase, consume and dispose of. These new ‘things’ could be changed as the latest model or new style became available. But now we have a new generation who have inherited the problem, of how to dispose of all the things that the generation that went before wanted.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.