Today, inspired by Andy Goldsworthy and in the spirit of my dissertation I decided to venture into greenery and create a shelter using found wood. This is the first shelter I have created in a long time and my goodness it was fun.
My shelter started as just a few strategically placed branches. The process involved balancing the branches onto each other and the tree I was creating the structure around. I found this process of being mindful very therapeutic and wasn’t aware of the hours floating by whilst I collected and placed each branch. At the beginning of the building I felt a little silly as people walked past and saw me struggling with large branches that didn’t want to balance. But once my structure started to take shape I felt proud when people started at me oddly.
The branches that I found were all different sizes and shapes and we’re all in different states of decay. I also found big pieces of bark that were great for covering large gaps. After adding lots of wood to my little house I began to create a barrier, that with lots of time could be solid. I loved the fragile state of my house and how much the structure relied on balance. Take one stick out and the whole thing could topple over, or a slight breeze that would add another force to a delicate equation.
As the sun began to set, a warm light was cast over the side of my little shelter making it look cosy and much more solid.
Beautiful patterns were made on the tree where the light shone through my shelter. This made the space feel welcoming and whole.
As I walked away from my first build I realised how immersed in nature it appeared. When I got back to the concrete path people had been viewing me from I was aware of how hidden it was. If you weren’t aware it was there you would probably walk straight past it. This is something o really love about this build. It is my first and pretty pants but it hasn’t harmed the planet in anyway and when it’s time comes, whether it be a big gust of wind, some pesky kids or simple decay it will sink back into the earth as If it were never there.
I am becoming and more more aware of my effects on the planet and my responsibility as an artist to help others be more aware. I think I would really like to continue with my sculpture building as it is not only very linked with my dissertation but is something I’m a little bit in love with. I would love to try and build a shelter a day (well as frequently as I can) to build my skills and ideas. I would love to have structures cropping up all over cardiff that will make the public more aware of how brilliant nature is and its potential. I think I’ll pop back and see this guy tomorrow, I hope he’s still there.