Friday, February 16, 2018

'Legacy' in Elora

Once again, I am quite pleased to have a piece chosen for inclusion in the Elora Sculpture Project for 2018:
'Legacy' drafted submission


What do we leave behind for future generations?
The pyramid structure recalls one of the oldest enduring human structures, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The covering of plastic water bottles indicates one of the longest enduring objects produced in current days - sure to also endure for centuries to come.
Individual bottles (makers labels removed against liability) are each attached on to long bolts, those welded to the underlaying steel frame. It is the intent to start with the frame only partially covered, with additional bottles added to ‘complete’ the structure over the course of its installation.
This piece originally conceived during the ‘Turf to Tools’ project at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in 2017, as a commentary on human impact over the ages on the natural environment. (It is a topical piece, with controversy about the impact of water bottling in the Elora region.)

Those following this blog may remember the original posting on Legacy, as a concept, from September of 2017.

Behind the whole thing was a lot of thought I had about ancient landscapes, human impacts, artifacts, and modern interpretations. The 2017 trip to Scotland had included touring Edinburgh, work with Celtic Iron Age Iron at the Scottish Crannog Centre *, and a one week residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.
This process was certainly an extension of the larger Turf to Tools project series (2014 & 2016) at SSW.

Although the original design for Legacy was sparked by road side trash in normally clean Scotland, it turned out the concept also was topical to the town of Elora, back here in Ontario. Right now there is a large controversy (with protests and angry meetings) about a major water bottling plant being proposed by Nestle for the area. 'Jobs' and 'it won't effect the water supply' are the two standard statements made by industrial water corporations.**

The slight modification to Legacy to use only plastic water bottles, with their endurance in the environment of as long as 500 years, was obvious.
The piece becomes a statement not only about how the past might be perceived by some future observer, but also about how what we do NOW will massively impact generations to come.

* the Crannog Centre had provided the base funding for the 2017 trip. Along with a honourarium to help offset car rental, meals and lodgings for the time at Aberfledy, they covered the air fare costs from Toronto. I added funds for the time in Edinburgh and the week at SSW.

** I can tell you from personal experience - here at Wareham. 
When the Ice River Springs industrial bottling plant was put into operations at near by Feversham in 2002, I started having heavy levels of clay silt in my own well water. A filled glass coffee pot, if left for 10 minutes, would have a deposit settle out which completely covered the bottom. This problem persisted for about six months. I have a deep well (about 150 - 175 feet), so drawing water out of the limestone of the Niagara Escarpment. This is well below a thick red clay layer about 20 - 30 feet thick laying about 30 feet down here. That effectively seals that ancient water from any surface effects (contamination) - or modern replacement of the aquifer. 
It is illustrative that on the Ice River Springs web site - there is no mention of exactly how much of this ancient water is being pulled out, bottled, and shipped away to consumers.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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