The Ephemeral Nature of Everything l The Art of Anya Gallaccio

July 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been looking at: the installations of  Scottish artist Anya Gallaccio.  Using various organic materials, her work is a gorgeous  study of time and impermanence.

Anya Gallacio | Cast | Date Unknown

Anya Gallacio | Cast | Date Unknown

{“Cast” brings together a handful of real English acorns and one unique cast bronze acorn in a box specially produced by BookWorks for the project. The buyer is invited to plant the acorns for the future, keep them to dry out and die or throw them away, leaving only the cast acorn. “Cast” has both the association with throwaway culture and that of permanence.

The English oak tree symbolises tradition, permanence and value. The oak doesn’t even reach its prime until it is at least 100 years old. This association of the oak with the long-term – much longer than human life – contrasts markedly with the short-term nature of contemporary life.}

{accessed 06/30/2010 www.culturelabel.com/…/cast-anya-gallaccio}

Anya Gallacio | Because  I Could Not Stop | 2002

Anya Gallacio | Because I Could Not Stop | 2002

I have to say: In my own work I’ve been reluctant to include aspects that would continue to change as the piece aged.  In 2006 I created a piece called Consequences that featured a pen and ink drawing of a barren cracked earth surrounded by a floral motive crocheted in white cotton thread.  Part of the crocheted motive were crocheted cups that held a few small acorns.  The piece was ultimately about collection for pleasure and how the acorns once removed did not have the opportunity to become trees.

Needless to say, over the course of time the acorns slowly shrank more and more until eventually no amount of fussing would keep them in their crocheted caps.  Although I had felt justified for taking the acorns in the name of Art, once they no longer suited the piece I felt enormously guilty.

I none the less enjoy this work.  Impermanence is still a theme I fully embrace although I currently choose  not to work in temporary materials.  I still find it an exciting prospect that a piece of art could become a forest though!

Anya Gallacio | Detail - Because I Could Not Stop | 2002

Anya Gallacio | Detail - Because I Could Not Stop | 2002

As always thanks for reading.  Do you use degradable materials in your art? Leave a comment!

❤ Grace Willard

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