Friday, July 31, 2009

Seth Apter's Disintegration Project - The Big Reveal August 1st 2009 Seth Apter's bloggy address which will have links to all those who have participated in this project and have posted their 'reveal'.

The Original Idea and Part 1

My instructions from Seth. 'Basically you need to create a "bundle" out of paper and what ever other materials you want to use. You can see many examples on my blog. Wrap it up somehow and place it in nature. Hang it. Bury it. Submerge it. Lean it. Whatever you like. Then let Mother Nature be your collaborator. Take a photo of your bundle in its new home and post it on your blog. Then wait and watch. On May 1, all participants will then post an "after" picture on their blog. There will also be a part 2 to the project. I will send details to everybody soon. Please email me again when you have your bundle photo posted. That way I can link to it and add your name to the list of participants.'

So I did and here it is.

These are the things that made up my bundle. The toilet paper was wrapped around the very outside and the whole was tied with string.

I hung my bundle fairly high in a tree on our allotment. Otherwise it wouldn't have been long before our dog Buster found it and demolished it. The date was March 17th

In May, I took down my bundle. A lot of it hadn't changed very much, but the photo of the ibis had taken on a purple splodgy look from a piece of crepe paper up against it. It looked wonderful.

The Ibis after exposure to the weather and purple crepe paper. I took my bundle down on May 12th

Some of the other items after the bundle was opened.

Part 2

Quote from Seth's email. 'Part of my initial inspiration behind this project was my feeling that disintegration is not a negative force but a part of the process of creation. For example, while some see rust as destructive and corrosive...I see it as a new and beautiful development. In life, as in art, growth and evolution is often preceded by conflict, turmoil, and challenge. "Out of chaos, brilliant stars are born" (I Ching Hexagram #3). So for me, the disintegrated bundles will all be more compelling than the original, "pristine" versions. This leads me to Part 2! Finally! I would like everybody to create a new artwork using some or all of the disintegrated materials in your bundles. No rules here. Anything goes. Big reveal planned for Saturday August 1. That gives everybody three months to either (1) have enough time to leave their bundle in the elements for more disintegration before creating their artwork or (2) get started immediately on their new creation. Artist's choice. Of course, you are not obligated to participate in Part 2...but I hope you will!'

This also explains a little more about Seth's whole motivation behind the project and will maybe help you understand the process more.

I decided I would do some weaving with my weathered bundle. I had to have some sort of frame and as we live on a willow 'farm', I decided to used willow sticks for the frame. I simply grabbed a bundle experimented to make a frame, which ended up looking a little like a wigwam. I used string to make the warp threads and either the paper or material in the bundle for the wefts. I find weaving a very therapeutic activity and anyone who has read my blog post 'Inspiration Wednesday' from 29th July will see what I have achieved with my weaving.

As my structure is in 3D form I had to take quite a few photos to show the finished piece from all angles. I hope you get an idea from these pictures.

The original bundle of sticks.
Fixed together at the base. Seeing these two photos, my son called it 'The Wicker Man'. I have changed this to The Woven, a more androgynous name.

After this it just evolved. I had 2 A4 photos in my bundle, the Ibis and one of a butterfly on a flower. I wove those so that the pictures would show again, reborn.
The Ibis side. A close up is below:

The plastic fish were also in the bundle. Hung here, they represent my swim through life, often against the tide, hoping eventually to find a calm sea. I am often very unsure of myself ; for example, I would like to see what others in this project have made before I reveal what I have done for fear of it being 'not good enough'. I think many creative people are like this. So we weave our way unsteadily along, bumping into obstacles, hopefully overcoming them but always trying to choose our own path as an individual. That is what I have tried to achieve and represent in this work. Each section of weaving forms a sail of a boat.

Underneath the Ibis is a woven section of striking colours. The green was crepe paper and the yellow/black mix was a fashion photo. Here I have mixed up the picture in a chaotic way.

To the left is the yellow/butterfly side, below is a closer shot:
Again, the butterfly picture has been chopped up, destroyed, then put together again, reborn. It is, coincidentally, a 'Red Admiral'. If you click on any of the photos you can see the weaving in more detail. The top of this section was a picture of smiley faces, which you can still recognise even in their disorganised state.

The 'sail' to the left of the photo is all material and is deliberately unfinished, as am I.

Turned a bit more, the blue stripe is the door to the inside of The Woven. I love its striking contrast to the calmer, autumn colours. Here is a closer shot of the next yellow section:
The top section is a Christmas Card left over from the ones I made this year using pressed leaves from our trees. The yellow at the bottom is made from paper bags which spread the recycling message, something very dear to my heart.
'Made with 100% recycled paper' as, indeed, is The Woven.
This pale sail was made from the outer gift bag in which all the other contents of the bundle were contained. It, too, has butterflies on it and I joined some of them as I have the Ibis and Red Admiral. A close up is below:
Final View of the whole:
This, thin, red, white and purple sail is full of joy and colour and youthfulness.

I apologise for posting so many photos but there are so many different segments to The Woven.

The Top

There is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) hanging from the top, both its front and back as they separated. This is one of the first ones I made and meant a new path for me. It has turned out to be very rewarding. The little tube wrapped in gold and red thread contains 3 'Q tips'. The tube itself was wrapped in grey cotton which I have used to hang some of the objects. I wrote on it before I wrapped it:
'We each weave a path through life, sometimes becoming tangled, strangled.'

There are fine threads of gold, copper and red woven around the top sticks of The Woven, like random cobwebs. They can hardly be seen in any of the photos.

I wanted to do something with the tissue toilet roll. I made them into balls, colouring them green with paint and mixing them with PVA glue. I then wrapped some in shimmering threads and others in the grey cotton. The ones wrapped in grey are hung inside, but the ones wrapped in glossy thread are proudly displayed at the head.

This is the only woven part of the top, it is like a slide. You can just see the scroll on the right hand side and the green of another fish inside.

Looking Inside

You may wonder where the original 'Bee' is. He was hanging from the bottom of my bundle and changed little during the battering he took from the Irish weather. Here he is hanging inside, right at the heart of The Woven and along his white wings is now written 'Bee Yourself'.
Me, Gina. BT, The Crafty Gardener. Dressed scruffily in Wellington Boots as I am a gardener too.

A montage of pictures I have not used so far.

Thank you Seth for involving me in this wonderful project. I have enjoyed it immensely, especially Part 2.


deb said...

WOW!! I am embarrassed to post tomorrow now, that is so totally awesome, wish I could see it in person!

Penny said...

What a lovely magnificent idea. I love it and I also like the garden photo behind the first photo and you, I am permanently wearing rubber boots at the moment.
Thank you for such an inspirational idea.

ArtPropelled said...

I LOVE the fibre sculpture you've created and as deb commented it makes me feel embarrassed after posting photos of the silly little creation I made. Love the photo of the completed piece with the shadow on the wall!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Wow! This is awesome,absolutely aweseome. I've played around with weaving paper but never really created anything. I think this is fantastic and I love how all the panels have a special meaning.I feel like we've just peeked into the pages of your diary. Very cool.

I enjoyed all the photos btw.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and for naming my trees. I am not suprised that the first one is from the magnolia family. I always feel so ignorant when it comes to naming trees! haha.

I've written your name down for the draw:) Thanks for playing Lucky Dip!

Corrine said...

Fantastic! I love how it has turned looks like a spirit house. I think it is beautiful. Well done.

Coastcard said...

This is just - WOW - so inspiring! The wigwam shape points the eye upwards in an uplifting way, likewise the image of the broken but reborn butterfly. Your photos are great and I really like the fact that you have included one of yourself. What fun you have had ... and how many hours of work? Awesome indeed!

Stampmaiden said...

Oh BT, what an awesome artistic structure - I LOVE IT!!

Heather said...

The Woven is amazing Gina - you should be delighted with it. So much thought has gone into it and the panels are full of meaning. I couldn't envisage what you were going to produce when you first started tying those sticks together but the final result is stunning. It should be displayed somewhere where everyone can see it. Your blog will do for a start!

BT said...

Thank you so much deb. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It is better in person! I'll be having fun blog hopping today.

Hiya Penny. Thank you. Oh I have hundreds of garden photos if you have some time to peruse one day. Lots of lovely flowers and trees and lake views.

ArtPropelled, I'm so glad you like my sculpture, I love your creations and your blog, you certainly are 'propelled'. Yes, I thought the wall shadows were good too.

Hi Lisa. I am a happy lady receiving these lovely comments about The Woven. Your comment was so thoughtful.

I'm happy to have named your trees, my husband is a botanist and I'm a keen gardener so any time! Fingers crossed for your lucky dip.

Corrine, I wish I'd thought of that name, 'spirit house'. That so suits it. Thank you.

Thank you so much Coastcard, your comments were very thoughtful. Oh, lots and lots of hours but I so enjoyed it. I now want to make weavings all over the garden! I'm probably going to leave it outside to disintegrate.

Linda, I'm so glad you like it. A compliment from the talented you!
Someone put a lovely comment about your 'I' for India ATC on my blog the day I posted it.

Heather you are too kind but I do appreciate your lovely comments. I think it will go outside after a while and rot away happily in the garden. It seems the right place for it.

lyle said...

how wonderful! you really put your mind to it! thanks for showing us. lyle

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This is amazing and totally awesome. You put so much work into this piece and each part has taken on so much meaning for you. I read everything with profound respect for your love of nature, recycling, and art.

Your idea to keep everything contained in a gift bag is very clever. Wish I'd had your insight.

ooglebloops said...

One word - AMAZING!! I love it!!!

Marie said...

What a wonderful sculptural piece you have created! The detail and personal symbols are really breath taking & truly inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love it, BT - am pressing on with making a few ATCs - some will be winging your way shortly. Have a good weekend. Love

DymphieM said...

wow wow wow i love the way you incorporated all the elements of your bundle in The Woven, wonderful work.

thanks for stopping by at my blog and your kind comments, greatly appreciated :)

Nikki Lee Anne Ghilain said...

What an Awesome Piece! I love all the weaving and the name! May you always have calm seas1

Dawn Wilson said...

how amazing! what a wonderful use of the materials. You have captured such a unique spirit of the collaboration

Jane Moxey said...

This is so imaginative and stays true to your personal style of making art. Congratulations!

Bea said...

I love what was created from your project. I love how so much of it had personal meaning to you as you created it. I love how it is now outside again, changing daily with the elements.
I hope you love it. I hope when you look over at it, it makes you smile. Because, in the long and short term that's all that matters.
I would hope that most people are creating art that pleases their souls. If others appreciate it, wonderful but if no one but you sees it that really is all that counts.
BUT, rest assured I LOVE IT and from the rest of the comments so do a lot of other people.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The woven is so expressive. I love the textures, colors and forms all taken apart and put back together again. This shows how when over time we all are taken apart and put back together again, time and again, hopefully we all turn out to be something as wonderful as The Woven.

BT said...

Thank you lyle. I really had fun doing it.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth, thank you for your lovely comments and I'm happy that your appreciate The Woven and my loves of nature, art and recycling.

Thanks a million ooglebloops!

A lovely comment Marie, really appreciated too.

Hello Weaver, glad you approve! Oh ATCs, yummy.

DymphieM, likewise your lovely comments are much appreciated and I'm so glad other artists like it.

NLAG, that's a wonderful, thoughtful comment. Thank you.

Dawn Wilson, thank you so so much for that lovely comment, especially 'you have captured the spirit of the collaboration'.

Jane Moxey, that's what I tried to do so thank you so much.

Bea, I think I love you. You are so clever and succinct in your comments. Of course you are absolutely right, what the heck if nobody 'gets' it. Yes, it makes me smile but I so need approval you know! I love that you love it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lisa what a beautiful comment. I have been taken apart and reassembled many times. Hopefully I'm getting it right at last! I try. XXX

Heckety said...

Its amazing, garden art too,except it might disintegrate beyond the point of recognition. I also like the shadows it throws on the wall, I think you should include them as part of the project.

BT said...

Thank you Heckety. Now how can I include the shadows when we get so little sunshine?? lol.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

This is amazing and so inspiring! There are so many yummy things to admire :-)

Ontheroad said...

Terrifically organic.

nancy neva gagliano said... industrious are you? amazing crafty gardener, you!!

BT said...

Just a Plane Ride Away, phew what a long name! Thank you so much for visiting and for the compliment.

BT said...

Thank you ontheroad.

lol, thanks a lot Nancy, It wasn't meant to be a feat of hard work! It's just how it worked out.

Anonymous said...

"the woven" is WONDERFUL ~ and i love the idea of it living in the garden!
and toilet paper! what a creative and beautiful use of tp!

Mick said...

Totally fab-o-lous!!!

Julie Prichard said...

WOW Look at this amazing art!

rachel whetzel said...

SO cool. SO SO cool. I'm so happy to have you woven into my experience in this adventure!!

Heather said...

Thankyou for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment.

BT said...

n2theblue thank you. It's in the barn at the moment but will move to the garden soon.

Mick, Julie and Rachel thank you so much for your comment.

Heather, it was my pleasure.

Maj said...

That is quite a beautiful piece you have made! So many details, so much thought and meaning. Great stuff!

theresa martin said...

Wonderful! Very nicely done.

Anonymous said...

What a creative mind you have. It is fabulous!

Bella Sinclair said...

Dearest BT,

Fantastic structure. It captures your spirit so beautifully.

Thank you, my wonderful friend, for your thoughtful and loving good wishes. Your adorable card made me laugh and brightens the room. I love ewe!


Raph G. Neckmann said...

This is stunning - what a lot of work and inspiration, and meaning! I think it will look wonderful in your garden - I hope you regularly post photos of it.

I'm inspired to make something for our garden here at Necky Knoll House!

BT said...

Thank you so much Maj and Theresa. Mildred, it's been too long! So glad you're back and thank you for your comments.

Bella, a lovely comment. Thinking of you my friend. xxxx

Ralf, so good to see you. I think you should make something very TALL for your family!! Thanks for the comment.

Lawendula said...

Wow, just simply wow! Can't believe how wonderful this is! Adorable!

soulbrush said...

i missed this...and i am gaping with my mouth hanging open, what craft, what effort, what beauty and what a wonderful project, mostly what pleasure it is giving you- that's what it's all about in the end.

Pattio said...

What an amazing creation! It's wonderful that you posted all the different photos of it for us to see. It is so interesting with the original images put back together and some jumbled up. In the garden seems like the perfect place for it. I hope you show more pictures as it disintegrates.

Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

wow!! such amazing photos and tremendously magnificent idea! i love what you have done!! how creative you are!!

Mar said...

this is absolutely stunning
words keep coming...
you are an inspiration!

Titus said...

Just brilliant, and taking us through the process really brought the whole project alive for me. Really love the work.

Kim said...

What a wonderful creation. It incorporates both your love of art and gardening so well. I think this is fabulous!

BT said...

Lawendula I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Thank you soulbrush for your lovely comment. It does give me pleasure, that's for sure.

Hello Pattio, thank you so much. My other half won't let me put it in the garden yet!! It's been so windy lately it would have blown away!!

Thank you alteredbits,Mar,Titus and Kim. Your lovely comments really mean a lot to me. xxx

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

Really fantastic on so many levels!!!

mansuetude said...

I love her! IT. THe presence of it very feminine to me... the recycled stuff, etc, the house shelter quality.

amazing and unique!!!

Anonymous said...


Marion said...

I love what you did, it is just gorgeous!!!!

Lise said...

simply beautiful !!! Yu did a wonderful job !!