The birth of my child was a joyous occasion and filled me with an overwhelming creative impulse that desperately needed an outlet. Being naturally predisposed to a distrust of artists and their lackeys (promoters, producers, gallery owners, etc.) and outright contempt for the paradigm of art as a commodity (combined with my fear of failure and rejection), I set out to create a work of art that would appear for a brief time in the public sphere, anonymous, unannounced, free of expectation, and open to the world.
I entered into this realm with no long term plan or vision, I just needed to create something and share it with strangers, friends or whoever happened to be passing by my little corner of the world. So I picked a random spot, a telephone pole on the corner of Salsbury and Parker in East Vancouver, (I lived in a house on this corner from 1997-1999). It has been 13 years now, I try to put up at least one work every year, sometimes I manage two. They only last for a few days at most, I put them up before dawn and take them down late at night when their store of goods has been exhausted. It took a few years before I settled on a theme; the works always contain gifts of some sort, an opportunity for exchange, or just a random trinket for someone to take away.
May 1998, the first one didn’t last long . I had worked at it for days prior to its presentation. Painstakingly drawing and painting, I even included some copper work in its final form. To describe it would be difficult; inside a small metal box, there was a Smurf with a chainsaw, against a background depicting a clearcut forest, stumps and logs scattered around the landscape. I believe I featured the words, “Coming Soon” as the banner to my creation. It was up for less than 4 hours. A person with no respect for public art?, or perhaps a zealous patron of the arts? Someone pilfered it, though I never discovered whom. I preferred to imagine that someone was so taken by it that they had to have it at any cost, even if it meant crossing the line into criminal activity. This thought made me very happy, and encouraged me to do more.
Please have a look at the works through the years, and if you or someone you know has had an experience with them, please comment. Tell me your story, what you found, what you left, how it affected your day or your life.
Friday, 21 October 2011
|My son, aged twenty months, with box.|
- Of the 24 original objects, only one was never taken off the shelf (though it did move to different shelves). It is the picture of a lovely blond teenager (top shelf, second from the left in second photo). This girl is from Alabama, she is the second cousin of my son’s mother. The photo was taken in 1998 when she was 16 years old.
- Two original objects were taken, then returned, then taken again. The Eric Clapton pin, promoting his 1983 album “Money and Cigarettes” ( top left corner in second photo) was taken sometime on Sunday and then returned on Wednesday (middle shelf photo 8) and remained until the offering was taken down. In addition, a little wooden bi-plane was taken on Saturday, returned on Wednesday and then taken again later the same day.
|Box installed, day one. My son posing.|
|The final incarnation|
|Offering content examples. Bits of Grandma's poems.|
|Box installed, incense burning, flowers blooming|
|L and her daughter examine the offering|
|My son, and friends|
|Box showing sealed bottles inside|
|All that was left when I took it down|
|A sample of the gifts that accompanied the offering box.|
The three foundations of Awen are:
To understand truth
To love truth
To maintain truth.
|My son gazes at the offering|
|The gifts I left|
|The things people leave behind|
|Incense tray in front|
|The song box|
address: P----------------- @yahoo.ca
|Box prior to installation|
|Box installed, taken after vandals had disturbed it.|
|Box with damaged "quacker"|