Saturday, 24 August 2013

Sculpture parks and water droplets

I am posting really only to note some particularly striking words which have remained in my head since I read them a week ago today up in Alnwick Castle Gardens. There are many beautiful gardens there, one of which is a water sculpture garden. This is also a little ironic considering I've just tweeted that I am a little unnerved when looking at photographs of underwater sculptures. I'm sure I can't be the only one who finds these a little creepy!? Anyway - keeping with the topic, thankfully the sculpture garden only exhibited sculptures on ground level; no underwater surprises. One of the sculptures exhibited in the garden was almost shaped like a well in the ground, and was built to forcefully sprout water up in the same way a fountain might do. The water droplets stuck to the glass topped 'well' before they fell back below. I probably haven't given a brilliant description there... But of course, like every worth-while informative exhibition, there were some words adjacent to the sculpture to explain its meaning and origin. These words I read over again and have even taken note of them.

'This sculpture shows droplets bursting and radiating, changing and transmuting as they travel to the outer limits of their world, until they reach a moment at which they appear unable to hold on any longer, and reluctantly drop into the abyss below.'

I had to double-check I had read these words correctly because to describe a sculpture of such hardened ferocity; the solidity of the stone and glass combined with the force and speed of the water.. It seemed quite incongruous when comparing the speed of movement, the noise, and the shape of the structure with the beautiful words used. I watched as the water collided with the glass topped 'well' before it abruptly and prematurely ended its only short experience of peacefulness. I then thought about perspective of the observer, the perspective of the creater, and (oddly) the perspective of each droplet of water. I guess this is why I re-read and I understood a little more.

The way we view life is often through tinted vision - that if we were to stop and read someone else's account of the exact same incident that we experienced, our entire world would be opened up to a new way of thinking - a new perspective. A subjectively lived experience. I then thought about the water droplets. They really did hold on for as long as they could until the inevitable (gravity) became a higher force than their entire being. They resisted. They fought. How much longer can any of us resist and fight the inevitable? Is there any point in fighting at all when we all fall down anyway? Or is it that the real journey and spirit is in the fight? That it shows integrity and autonomy and self-sufficiency. I see that and I believe that the fight can be a good fight if we make it so. But having seen a fight be the not-so-good type and having an understanding of the blurred line between the good and the bad - it does lead to a question of whether a fight is worth fighting at all.

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