And so it begins… Creating a time capsule artwork

This week I’ve been all sketch books, measuring tapes, ink pens & blow torches… Yes, I started the technical work on the piece, so I thought I would let you in on my plans which have begun to take shape in direct response to the letters I am receiving from you wonderful lot. (find out how to take part here)

Overwhelmingly people have been writing very considered, thoughtful & introspective letters, completely the opposite to the naturally short sharp superficial nature of writing in today’s Twitter filled world. (yes I’m guilty of it too… @Nicola_Anthony…) Given the chance to sit down & ponder, spending an amount of time in a cocoon of thought rather than constantly thinking about immediacy like we do usually, something different has prevailed…

I’m excited that this is shaping up to be a quite different and perhaps more revealing representation of people in today’s outspoken, self publishing & fame obsessed world – the letter writers are still being outspoken, but it’s somehow different when it’s addressed to yourself: These feel more like confessions and hopes. There is a sense of honesty, openness, trust. Learning things about each other that we would not usually be let into. 

So the artwork must reflect this:  Not Twitter-like, temporary or throwaway,  this is something people have devoted time to and poured themselves into. The sculpture needs to reflect this – it should be precious and treated with  respect; it should convey this double sense of precious secrets versus the openness of the personal messages; the truth and transparency of conversing with ourselves.

As a slightly contrary thread to this artwork, what has also come across is the difficulty of recording what we feel, as sometimes we are not even open with ourselves. We protect ourselves by not consciously acknowledging some aspects of our lives. Some writers have commented on this, I wonder how many did not even realise it, and how many discovered it through writing?

So there is a dichotomy between transparency and closed. A difference too between hidden or secret, from ourselves or others.

A special thanks goes to Zeitgeist Magazine for writing a fabulous article about the project & getting their readers involved.

And the sculpture takes shape.

A selection of letter writers words from this week is below:  (only those who allowed me to use them publicly of course. I have stack more of mulit colured & shaped envelopes waiting nestle inside the time capsule)

“The love, the utter perfectness of the love you have felt was real,  the hurt from sadness also real, the hole that was left like a jigsaw

piece taken out of your chest to enable day light to shine right  through – real – real – real.”

“Remember me –  here I am in May 2011 living by the sea”

“You learnt to trust + it’s my hope in the time period of writing this  and now reading it, your barriers are still disabled, caution is
allowed but running for the hills no longer serves you and if there  are relationships you’re running from, STOP, turn on your heels and
face them full on until you figure it all out.”

“Today finds me reflective, but generally happy trying to plough a straight & narrow line between love, life, work, art and day to day existence. I hope my future self is laughing at this and is happy, healthy and making a difference.”

“It has been a long time since we talked. This is the first time I am writing you a letter. If not for thus opportunity, I would have never written you a letter at all. I am writing through the future,”

” I devoted its delivery and safety to the special time capsule agent Nicola Anthony, I’ve heard she has discovered a time machine for sending letters to the future. First the letters are put in a special box that is sent straight to the space, than as soon as it reaches an ‘empty spot’, the letters stay there and wait for three years to pass and sent back to earth..”

“God, you had some bad luck back in 2010 and beginning of 2011, hopefully that was just a bad phase and the last few years have regained your hope in life.”

“follow an old path +  you find the expected. Blaze a new trail + you  have an adventure”

“I assume Daisy is as fat as ever, you might even have your own kitten by now, or dog if your living by the beach in Cornwall, like you dreamed of doing. If the dream of relocating to the West Country hasn’t come about yet, and your reading this now thinking I’d still love to live there, then don’t give up on what you want for yourself”

“I hope to God you are wiser, I pray that you are smarter, but I love that you won’t be.  “

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About Nicola Anthony

London and Singapore based artist, art writer, sculptor, lecturer. I create sculpture & drawing, write for art journals and magazines, create events & connect people. http://www.NicolaAnthony.co.uk I also co-ordinate the Edible Art Movement. http://www.edibleartmovement.com

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