I wanted to hear how others felt about the Crumbling Ecologies Project. How are these ideas and issues received by people outside of my immediate circle? Do they translate and speak beyond the art school microcosm? From regional Victoria, to the other side of Australia and the opposite side of the world I received emails. Here are some of their responses.
Mary Pomfret – Creative Writer, Regional Victoria
My friend is a snob. Not a real snob perhaps, but most definitely a garden snob. She hates geraniums. She refuses to have them, not even in terracotta pots, not even the red variety that look so French and rustic.
‘They are so, so common,’ she says. ‘Vulgar little weeds. Old hat, out of style.’
‘But they are colourful and elegant in their own way,’ I say. She shakes her head.
‘Not in my garden,’ she says.
Me, I love geraniums. Their vibrant green leaves with perfectly crimped edges and dark variegations for relief are like velvet to the touch: they are beautiful. They are hardy. And they are survivors.
Drought resistant, they struggle on in harsh circumstances and continue to flower even in the driest of summers. Geraniums are tough.
And yet, the hand cast porcelain geranium leaves in the Crumbling Ecologies Project seem vulnerable. As part of an ephemeral floor-based project, these fragile leaves are the mercy at those who walk around them; at the mercy of a careless boot or stiletto spike that might crush them entirely. The product of the care and skill of the artist creator, invalidated, annihilated in a single step, a single crunch.
How tenuous the fate of the handmade artefact in an industrial world dominated by economics and perceived progress. But if those who walk near these leaves take care not to crush them underfoot, take time to appreciate their fine beauty and feel the strength of the presence of the maker, these leaves will survive.