‘Found art’ is a style in which objects are discovered in the environment or workplace that have artistic value or gain artistic value through being arranged in new ways.
That about sums up my knowledge of the genre, though, as a keen photographer, I can see the parallel between them. Both rely on ‘seeing’ something that may not appear obvious. Both require the extraction of that from the surroundings.
The photographer often ‘crops’ the taken shot to get the composition’s proportions glimpsed with the mind and emotions.
The ‘Found Object’ artist will go to great lengths to preserve and present the find. I once saw a programme in which a fallen tree embedded in crushed railings was purchased and extracted by powerful machinery before being exhibited in a major gallery, sawn and shaped.
I’m not an artist. An illustrator, sometimes, but relying on manipulation of something already existing. Sue Vincent was an artist , and we are currently working with another – Giselle Bolotin – on the creation of the Silent Eye’s new oracle deck of cards. Giselle is painting the core images for each of the characters used as archetypes in the Silent Eye’s three year correspondence course.
Returning to my opening image:
The recent storms have brought considerable damage to South Lakeland. Thousands of mature trees have been felled; many of them in the most remote areas are still being discovered.
The priority has been to clear the roads and pathways. The result is the appearance, everywhere, of sawn-through tree trunks, like the one above. In this case the chainsaw has cut through both trunk and surrounding ivy to create a neat cross-section of circles. A striking image on the path where I came across it. It’s the closest I’m likely to come to a true ‘found object’.
©Stephen Tanham 2021
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.