Mixed Media artist, Anna Harris and poet/artist Carolyn Haywood have created an ephemeral installation based on a shared interest in the early development of children’s inner world, imagination and play. The On Islands challenge has a delightful and playful connotation that lends itself easily to explore the inner world of children.
Many adults continue to seek escape from the business of city and work life into an ideal world that is represented by the solitude and adventure of an island holiday! The great Poet and Writer, Robert Louis Stevenson once said,
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.” (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1879)
“Raft” was conceived as an island afloat built to carry all the hopes for adventure and imaginary characters that children enjoy. Throughout cultural and art history rafts have featured in sea faring art, for example, The Raft of Medusa by Theodore Gericault, 1818-1819, and recently, “Junk Rafts” by Brooklyn eco artist, SWOON.
In the world of literature, many tales of survival and adventure have been told through makeshift or manufactured life rafts. “ Survive the Savage Sea” is just one of many stories associated with ship wreck. Children’s stories and rhymes that centre around survival at sea and/or on islands include, Robinson Crusoe (Defoe,1719), The Owl and the Pussy Cat (Lear undated), Where the Wild Things Are ( Sendak, 1963), and Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883). Seemingly, journeys and adventure preoccupy us all!
‘Raft’ is situated in the bushland setting of Eramboo Artist Environment at the bottom of the hill surrounded by a bed of ferns and bush ground cover. This raft will be created from found branches already on site. Utilising the old, rusted frame of a burned out caravan, the bushland will be transformed into a stage set for adventure. A tall mast will stand at the front of the old frame, and found branches will line the frame creating the illusion of a raft afloat.
Also inspired by the performance nature of SWOON's “Junk Rafts” that are created from recycled scraps, and collect trinkets from the places they visit as they float along their journey- this project will incorporate an original word play/short poetic story which alludes to children transforming routine travel into a make-believe raft adventure. However, no raft is complete without a sail, flags, messages in bottles or treasure maps and it is intended that the 'story' will be expressed through these elements such as 'message banners' and child like imagery to tell the tale and invite the viewers to find ways to interpret and add to the story.
Carolyn has a copy of her recently published book of her poetry and photographs for sale during the show. $30 on site or $37 with postage.
The Children board the ferry,
Squealing with delight.
A day confined to classrooms
Clatters in their wake.
A raft set sail across the sea,
Adventure to be found.
They clamber over oyster rocks,
Up ladders they are bound.
A log becomes a raft ashore;
A pirate ship detained.
A stick becomes a sword
To battle foes upon the shore.
Bark a treasure map to read
A stone to bury,
To be claimed
Treasure has been found.
No daily grind the travel
Over sea to school.
No end to their delight in
Freedom anchored by the sea.
©Carolyn Haywood, GrevilleaArts
Outside the voices call,
Responsibilities to meet
Take me here,
Drope this there,
A maze of expectations.
Inside I find a place to hide
The images I dream.
The place is tranquil,
Soft in light
Filtered through the maze.
An artists soul
Lies within the shelter
Where we hide
To see the light inside.
©2014 Carolyn Haywood GrevilleaArts
Research and References
Dougal Robertson (1994), Survive the Savage Sea. Rowman and Littlefield.
Daniel Defoe,(1719). Robinson Crusoe. W Taylor 1st ed., London
J M Barrie, (1902). The Little White Bird (first story about Peter Pan)
Robert Louis Stevenson, (1883). Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson, (1879). Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Oxford University Press, USA, 1993.
Eco Art: Swoons Junk Rafts ECO ART: SWOON’s “Junk Rafts” | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco
Architecture, Green Building
Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear : The Poetry Foundation
Sendak, M. (1963). Where the Wild Things Are. Harpercollings Chidren’s Books.