A few days ago I came across a provocative Facebook post that artist Nick Bantock had shared on December 30, 2022. The date’s not particularly notable, but the author is. Familiarity with Bantock’s work adds context and texture to the explanation about his creative process, specifically how he moves from found ephemera to finished artwork.
I keep an in-between tank, a collection of part-constructed smaller pieces that are in a state of flux or transition. Resonating bits that touch or brush-up against one another, in a pre-morphing box (or in this case, a studio drawer)… Ideas are rarely plucked out of the ether, in my experience they come from creating an environment where happy accidents and surreal collisions can best occur. (Source: Nick Bantock, Facebook, December 30, 2022)
I’d be wise to leave his words to stand alone. Unsullied. Undistorted. Unaccompanied. A beacon.
And I’ll try.
But trying isn’t enough. Temptation is building, like a wave rising higher, gaining momentum, wisps of foam falling from the curled lip.
And so I succumb. Slightly.
The image above, an illustration of Rosslyn’s boathouse by Essex resident, Paul Flinn, was documented by Tony Foster. Between upcycling garapa decking boards into distinctive wall paneling for Rosslyn’s icehouse rehab he popped into Essex Town Hall, spied this handsome architectural sketch, snapped a photo, and pinged it through the ether to me.
Collaborating with creative characters; emphasizing the merits and possibilities of adaptive reuse while repurposing collected curios, salvage, and surplus; and generally endeavoring to create an environment where “happy accidents and surreal collisions can best occur” just might be working. Thank you, Paul. Thank you, Tony.
Fusion. Collage. Combinatorial creativity… It’s been immensely satisfying to help catalyze the morphing. And it seems that everyday their are more happy accidents. They’re not all tidy or comfortable. Sometimes there friction and frustration. Sometime fission in place of fusion. But we’re in a flow state that, like an undertow and a strong surface current, are pulling us forward. Where? Too soon to say. But creative collisions and happy accidents suggest we’re trending in the right direction!