"Swarm" Painting No. 1
29 04 2016
Clay, seedballs, fired terracotta, screws and pig netting (200 cm x 200 cm)
Installed 03 04 2016
- “Swarm” Painting No. 1
- From Newborough to Caim, via Llanmaes
- NOTHING is Promised
Artfield – Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
Caim, near Penmon, Anglesey, Wales
Llanmaes, now LLanfaes, is situated a short distance from the site of this Exhibition which opened to the public on 1st April 2016. Llanmaes was once, briefly, the capital of the kingdom of Gwynedd in North Wales. In 1294 the people of the village, being in the way of King Edward I’s plans for a new trading port in the area, were forcibly evicted to the opposite coast of the Island of Anglesey, to a place which was to become Newborough.
On the 3rd of April, 2016, I took seeds, collected the previous year from a garden in Newborough, safely encased in small balls of clay and soil, and placed them in a bed of clay in a field which had recently been discovered to be a Romano/British settlement site. Seeds, like people, move around a bit, and the seeds I took are a haphazard selection of flowers seeds, collected, mixed, and ‘planted’.
The flowers from where they were taken are not all ‘native’ to this country.
Each ball contained a myraid of seeds, prepared in the method recommended by Masanobu Fukuoka, author of ‘One Straw Revolution’, but the weather had been wet for months, the ground saturated, and many would be expected to rot in the ground. Tempting though it would be to replace, and ‘sow’ again, I have decided not to intervene.
The Exhibition is to remain until August, being open only on selected days, and the piece will develop and change over time, whether or not any of the seeds will survive.
20 04 2016
20 04 2016 (detail of seedball)
NOTHING is Promised - Update
27 05 2016
NOTHING is Promised (detail)
The sculpture was installed in near flooded ground, suffered heavy rain and much colder than average weather conditions for two months and has since been baking in hot temperatures. (From pock marks on the surface it may have had a pounding from hailstones.) The empty ‘pond’ nearby is an excellent indicator of how damp (or otherwise) the soil beneath the sculpture might be, as of 9th June 2016. It had no maintenance within the boundary of the piece and yet a few seeds managed to germinate.
I made a decision at installation not to intervene, which I am sticking to, except for uninstalling the piece as “Swarm” Painting No 1 and reinstalling as