Wednesday, January 30, 2008

lift and separate

I spent some happy hours on Saturday lifting and separating.

This has nothing to do with cross-your-heart bra's, or any other kind of foundation garment. I don't have the sort of dimensions which require any such cantileverage.

But on a day of clear blue skies and surprisingly warm sun I wandered out into the garden and found myself managing to forget about the worky workwork waiting inside.

I weeded and cut back and discovered a few spring-like shoots and moved around slabs of slate and peered from a distance at the domestic tunnels in the compost bin and found a couple of furtive little frogs under a brick and moved a rose and lifted and separated perennials.

and was happy happy for a few hours.

My approach to gardening tends towards the permissive and disorderly.
Randomness and a little bit of careful tending. But not too much of the latter.

Which made me think of this photo I took about a week ago in the park around the corner.

I couldn't really quite make out what they were trying to do, it looked like hoovering but I think they were just trying to blow the leaves into neater piles.

Which raises a number of questions, not least of which is the question "Why?"

and piles of leaves and landscapes and care and randomness lead rather nicely into Part IV of the V&A Exhibition I recently went to, a work called 'Topographies' by Anne Wilson.

topographies which consisted of various kinds of textile assembled dropped arranged constructed scattered onto a blank white surface...

This was an artwork which combined the (seemingly) random and hasty with the meticulously constructed - into a fabulous and fascinating environment of intricate detail and careful complexity, white negative space and inbetweenness.

There was also a great video of animated threads and pins dancing and weaving themselves into patterns mimicking those which were pinned to the board like frozen space spiders and miniature forests.

"In my art work the concept and content direct the use of material and process. I move from weaving to sound, to glass, to video and collaborative practices very liberally, rather than being defined by a specific way of making. More constant is my interest in material histories and issues that come out of the everyday as they relate to our human condition." Anne Wilson

There was something very Victorian and lavish about some of these lacy heaps but it was also very contemporary and minimal.

Just as I used to lie in bed as a child and imagine walking around upside down on the ceiling, I could imagine my miniature self picking a journey through, into and around this fantasy landscape.


tut-tut said...

Amazing! As are your comments, especially the "in betweenness" and "walking around upside down" and your "miniature self." Very inspiring exhibit . . .

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

"fantasy landscape" - precisely. The last one reminds me of Canada - seen from a plane descending over a wintery, landlocked piece of scenery. Could go on - her work is like a Rorschach for the soul.
thanks again, Lettuce.
P.S. totally approve your approach to gardening; I even apply it to housekeeping, myself.

Reya Mellicker said...

Topographies is fabulous! I wish I could write about what I create, make it sound cohesive or something.

My approach to gardening tends towards the permissive and disorderly. Randomness and a little bit of careful tending. But not too much of the latter.

You're so funny! Sounds like a perfect mix of wildness and cultivation, and how perfectly timed to find a green shoot or two here at the Feast of Bridgid! Very cool!

Malc said...

Leaf-blowers - the single most useless piece of garden gadgetry, especially as I look outside to where it's cranking itself up to a force 10. I despise any piece of machinery that stays in the shed for 364 days a year.

The artwork, on the other hand, has a real magical quality - wonderful stuff.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I think I should like to see this artwork in person, to appreciate the intricate designs and patterns made by the various application of fabrics and fibres. But I would like a vantage point from ABOVE the installation, I think a lot may be missed by being on the same level.

d. chedwick bryant said...

I used to imagine walking on the ceiling--there was a whole clean white terrain up there, very inviting.

I agree with ex-shammickite, and would like to see this in person. You inspired me to post about an artist today... looking at your last few posts has inspired me to get back to some art projects and ideas, too. Winter is an excellent time to do it.

I never understood the hoovering of leaves either, but we probably have one of those gizmos.

Tats said...

I was with you when we saw the man hoovering wasn't I? why indeedy...
I have a huge garden as you know and not an ounce of desire to tend to it! shame on me...
Miss you xx

Akelamalu said...

They do look like landscapes!

taco fetishist said...

Ich bin glücklich, hier zu kommen und hallo Kopfsalat zu sagen

Sally Crawford said...

Ah, you're reminding me of all these wonderful exhibitions that are on . . .

and that there is life outside what you call 'worky work work' :))

PS: the hoovering of leaves (or pavements/sidewalks) is not popular around here. Noise. While I'm trying to write/work/think.

Dumdad said...

I've never quite understood the point of those leaf-blowing machines - they do the same thing over here so I suppose it must work. Although why can't they just rake them up and put them in a wheelbarrow?

Queenie said...

I also wondered WHY, a little blast of wind and there back from where they came. How magical is that art work,I would love to go and see it.

Lynne said...

I like the idea of a mini-Letty journeying around that landscape. Can I come too?

When we took vacations by car when I was a child I would look out the window and imagine myself galloping on horseback over the terrain as it went by. (I was a bit horse mad then ..)

It might make a good children's book. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing this work of art.

Lynne said...

oops, I meant your journey through the fantasy landscape might make a good children's book in case I wasn't clear.

Molly Bloom said...

I think I will be unable to make it tomorrow as the bean has conjunctivitis. :( V. Poorly. Hopefully will catch up with you both soon. Can you send Rambler my true and huggy lovexxxxxx

Molly Bloom said...

Lots of love to you!

Steve said...

I have never understood leaf blowers. If you blow the leaves into a pile, don't they just blow away again? And what's wrong with a rake, anyway?

lettuce said...

it was v. inspiring Tut-Tut i'm sure you'd have liked it

me too Lee, with the housekeeping
and yes - a landscape in snow, perfect!

and Reya, we have snowdrops for St. Bridgid too!

malc i think despising is a very good attitude towards leaf blowers.

shammie it would have been interesting to see it from above. But I wouldn't have wanted to miss the ground/eye-level perspective - thats where it looked most 3-dimensional.

ched i'm glad you share that with me - did you imagine yourself stepping over the tops of the doorways too? and sitting in the corners? and yes, all that empty white terrain. :o)
i hope to have time tomorrow to see your art post.

shame on you tat. and yes - they were still at it when i walked back up the hill. bizarre waste of time.

must have been fun to put together don't you think, lamalu?

hello to you Taco.

sally, leave the worky work and go to some! (this one is on till about mid-FEb...) (and is free...)
(one more post on it to come here...)

dumdad i strongly question your assumption that if they do it it must mean that it works.

queenie when i see people using these, i ALWAYS hope for a gale.

please lynne i'd love your company.
(don't you think you on horseback would make a good children's book too? ;o] )

oh poo, Molly. poo to conjunctivitis. poor poor beanster, i hope she recovers soon. and that you don't get it. love to

steve, you'd think, wouldn't you?

la bellina mammina said...

I agree with Malc about the leaf blowers.

But the artwork - wow - amazing pieces!!

Just the simplest things, Lettie, that can make us happy, not material stuff. It happens to me from time to time when I step out and just feel blissfully happy when I can forget about the harsh reality of life, sadness and what's become of our world.

Pod said...

i woould love to create a huge reverse leaf blower and suck up all silly and pointless leafblowers. and then i would like to shrink down size and meet you on the lacey spindley landscape and run around exploring

lettuce said...

bella yes, its those simple things that are the essentials.

pod! :oD

Dumdad said...

An award awaits you at my blog.

kimy said...

I believe leaf blowers should be banned from the universe.

your approach to gardening is wonderful... it sounds a bit like my own approach to life most of the time.

dennis said...

Dennis wants a poem now.

Gary said...

You know I have actually picked up children upside down so they could walk on the ceiling. The thought interests me and I have the strength to make that happen for my (poor)nieces, nephews and the children closest to me. I'd love to experience it myself. I don't think I have the strength to lift you however, but we can try when we meet - after a few cocktails perhaps?

Hubert said...

I simple adore fantasy landscapes.

Hubert said...

Your profile pic looks like Jean Seaberg in the last scene of "Breathless" --she does just that with her hand. wonderful.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Looks like a great exhibition! I like your approach to gardening!