As I create on Jasmine Crescent, I meet so many new people from so many cultures and social backgrounds. I hear stories about past and present struggles but I also get a feeling of determination and desire to think positively.
Underwater welder, art gallery cleaner, bike genius, woodworking student, teacher, social worker, volunteer, nurse, jobless, recent Canadian… So many backgrounds and yet all these lives that intersect around the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard because they struggle to meet a basic need: feeding themselves and the family. So many languages limit the ability to communicate with one another, that sometimes they lead us to judge what personality somebody has based on looks and quick eye contact. However, as soon as we smile and engage in gestures, we notice and open doors. The land art creative process is welcoming, presenting and using natural materials that connect us all to what is supporting us, the planet. I stand available to chat, to smile at one passer-by, engage the other into the making. I feel the process welcomed in return, like a glimpse of human exchange needed in a place where there are too few.
And then, many people ask “how long are the sculptures going to last?” And I think “how long is a smile going to have an impact for?” Chatting around a sculpture allows our stories to be noticed and these stories get attached to the site. How long will the memory of our meetings last? Like a meal or a book, the preparation of the ingredients and the development of the site accompany the objective of sculpture building. The interrelations of the humans involved will inhabit the location longer than their physical presence.
So, how ephemeral are these land art creations really… ?