I’ve recently created the images here for The Fiction Project on www.arthousecoop.com
I came across the project while researching walking and also green art materials.
I also acquired the material for the images from someone who had taken sponsored daily walks for a year, gathering up rubbish, on her nearest beach. She raised £1000 for the Marine Conservation Society and ‘saved’ one square mile of sea from pollution. She then put small quantities of the rubbish into see-through bags and is offering them on her web site as ‘souvenirs’ to other artists in exchange for a piece of artwork. So I ‘bought’ one of her bags and it arrived just in time for The Fiction Project.
Of course, a number of people have expressed the view that I’m barking mad to ‘buy’ a bag of beach pickings especially when I gallivant widely and often enough to collect my own rubbish and it’s true that I could have brought home a quantity of the nasty smelly stuff from the beaches of Lindisfarne last week (Lindisfarne or Holy Island being, as you may know, a small island just off the coast in the far north of England famous as the birthplace of Christianity in England).
Yes I can and do harvest my own garbage. That’s not the point. I like the idea of being a link in a chain ‘reaction’ against this sort of pollution, of turning such rubbish into art – switching a negative into a positive. (What doesn’t get used as art will not go to landfill either as my local council uses non-recyclables to make energy).
This material is also perfect in that out of the choice of themes for The Fiction Project, I chose I am a Scavenger and I’m developing the project so as to draw attention to the disgraceful reality of child scavengers, homeless slumdogs abandoned to the waste heaps and streets of the world. There are a staggering 2 million street children/scavengers in The Philippines alone. And I’m talking about kids as young as 3 years.
So I’ve also decided to document my project at each step – which involves writing a story or stories on the theme in a decorated moleskin notebook (provided by the Arthouse Co-op). An exhibition of these notebooks will tour some venues in the US. They will end up permanently in Brooklyn Art Library in New York.
I’ll turn my documentation of the project into a book and donate a percentage of any sales for a relevant charity. I may not raise much, but if I do nothing, I’ll raise nothing and that’s a fact. Maybe I’ll clean up one square mile of street of slumdog children?
The Fiction Project:
Here’s another Fran, Fran Meneley, also doing The Fiction Project:
I’m not a goody-goody!
It just keeps me off the streets …