Last year I saw some examples on other people's blogs of bundles of 'stuff' left out to take their chances in the elements. The 'stuff' was mostly textile-based, with some rusty metal, papers, berries, threads - anything you like - thrown in for good measure. After a while, the bundles had been unwrapped and such delights as nature had produced were turned into small artworks by their talented bundlers.
So there I was, kicking myself, not having seen the potential in the remains of my scarecrow which had been sitting outside on his French garden chair for over a year. His vestments would have been perfect for a disintegration project. An old wool suit waistcoat, a spotty hankie, a thick cotton ticking shirt - all dumped in the compost!
So, when I saw a reference on Carolyn's blog to the Erosion Bundle Project, I just had to have a go. Unfortunately I was a wee bit late starting (it should have been 1st Jan.) and suddenly had an attack of the timids and didn't ask to add my name to the list of participants. But I made up my bundles nonetheless: one to hang in a greengage tree and one tucked into the edge of the big compost heap in a place I hope the hens don't find it! The idea is to photograph and share their progress and then on 15th April unwrap the bundles to see what surprises await. Disintegration and decay are anticipated to produce some inspiration for a new artwork to be completed by the 1st August. I'm just hoping that my slightly hastily-collected contents have the necessary artistic potential!
I did put some thought into what the contents might do in the way of merging with each other, marking and staining their neighbours, evolving and decaying. And then I thought that actually might be cheating a bit, trying to manipulate the results, so I tried to be a bit more spontaneous with my second bundle. One thing I did want to do with one of them was to introduce some aromatics. One of my daily delights is to take the lid off my spice dabba and inhale the wafts of juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cumin. I don't expect my retrieved bundle to be a sensory joy when I unwrap it after three months, but I did want to discover whether the spices not only marked the cloth, but if they would also impart a far-off exotic memory of their scent.
Then, a couple of days ago when I was huddled in the cold and damp in the orchard, waiting for the hens to retire for the night, I glanced up at my bundle dangling in the branches, pondering the ravages of wind, hail, rain, snow, sun that both it and I had endured during the past few weeks and I decided to be Captain Courageous and ask Kris if I could perhaps still join in the challenge publicly. Ain't she grand! She was very welcoming, so now I've got to make sure I take and post my photos and have the excitement of seeing everyone else's.