Growing Ideas

There are times when, as an artist, you feel like you just make things for the sake of it. This is mostly true but occasionally something happens and a piece of art just appears. This particular project started with a piece of my Christmas cactus being accidentally broken off. Me being me, I picked it up and decided to pot it in the hopes it would grow. However, without any fresh soil or a pot I cut up a milk carton and filled it with soil just dug up from a verge in the garden. This seemed to do the job and it began growing but so did all the seeds and things that were already in the soil.

Feeling kind of happy at the prospect of mysterious plants I decided not to weed it and let them grow and boy did they grow. I now have a very green window box fashioned from an old milk carton. With the thought of this unexpected life I went to work on the Isle of Mull, taking one of my casts with me. On arrival I started an experiment where I filled the cast with soil from the surrounding area. Watering it and caring for it as though there were seeds in it produced a beautiful effect. Everyday I wrote a short entry of my observations and everyday there was something new.

Life is all around us from the undisturbed seeds of plants long forgotten to a billion bacteria living in a teaspoon of soil. There is a lot more to the world than we sometimes expect and if we stop for a moment to watch it, to see it growing and changing we might see something beautiful.

Day 63, Week 9, 02/08/19

”The little forest seems to both grow slowly and quickly as the weeks go by. The vast variety astounds me. The whole cast has become a tangle of fine new greenness. A miniature forest of life in a landscape of information. When I get up close it is easy to get lost in its intricacies and imagine walking among them like an ant.”

[Extract from daily observational diary]

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