Thursday 26 January 2012

And that's why we test these things out!

So how did yesterday go?? Well put it like this, if it was the closing shot of a movie, it would have seen me sitting on a bench chuckling to myself like some sort of lunatic surrounded by squirrels. Let me fill you in. Yesterday afternoon, armed with my camera and a variety of paper to experiment with ideas and to be able to jot down my findings, I travelled down to the Lower Gardens, determined to test myself and my proposal. I started by spending a great deal of time wandering around the site, thinking very hard about where my 'information boards' could be placed and where they would be most likely to give me plenty of subject matter. I observed for a good hour before picking a bench to install myself on and gave myself 15 minutes to listen and look whilst all the time documenting what I could. It was surprisingly difficult as I found I couldn't write quick enough and began writing in the first person which I somehow hadn't expected. I also hadn't anticipated how much information I had considering the very few people there were using the gardens at that time. It did work though, so feeling like I was getting somewhere I took a deep breath and started writing a letter with the intention of leaving it exactly where I was sitting. This I found very enjoyable, detailing why I was there and what I was experiencing sitting in that spot and folded it so that it gave a tantalising glimpse (or so I thought) of the words it held. I labelled it 'To whom it may concern' and tucked it into the structure of the bench to await its recipient. I had already noticed a good vantage point where I would be able to watch the bench from a distance without looking too much like a stalker and made my way towards it to see what happened. Almost immediately a woman walked past and noticing the piece of paper, lingered momentarily whilst I was whispering to myself 'go on, go on' but then decided to continue her walk. Feeling encouraged and fiddling about with the focus on my camera I neglected to see the member of the park staff approaching on his motorised vehicle, trailer full of refuse being towed behind. Yes, you have guessed it, in the blink of an eye he had removed the letter, screwed it up and thrown it in the pile of rubbish! So it's a small step backwards for me today to have a long hard think about this and how I can alter the outcome in future. Today is also a day of writing up my findings, drawing maps and trying to persuade my boyfriend that I am going to need his carpentry skills if my first proposal is accepted. I will update you all very soon.


  1. Oh what a shame!
    I still think it's a great idea. If you went ahead with the letters, surely the council workers could be alerted and asked to leave them in situ - especially if it's just for a week or something?
    Also, I thought, maybe you need to address it differently? Give it more status, but also make it seem more open to whoever might come by. So perhaps you need to include a heading along the top of an envelope that says "AUCB & Bournemouth Gardens Art Project"...
    and then maybe address it something like:
    "Please Read Me".... which is all very Alice in Wonderland.
    Oooo so much to think about. Good luck!

  2. This is so funny Hun!
    Sorry, I couldn't help but laugh, as this does lend itself very well to a piece of live art! Maybe something new will come out of this experience?
    I hope you weren't too dissapointed though :-)
    Good luck with continuing the work, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens