Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Art is not always what it seems

Hello. What would you think if you entered an art gallery and saw a pile of rubble in the main entrance hall? When I saw it yesterday at the Ferens Gallery, I thought, oh, nice, looks a bit arty, anyone who lived near a beach could do that. I then had a wander round and browsed at the other exhibitions, and on my way out I stopped to have a chat about what I had seen, with one of the volunteers working there. 
Dave then asked me what I thought about this. I quickly discovered that the pile of beach rubble was not all it seemed, so I took a closer look. My eyes did indeed deceive me the first time'
Of course, you are not meant to rush around an art gallery at breakneck speed, but sadly, if something does not grab my attention quite quickly I tend not to give it a second glance. And so of course I can miss out on  hidden meanings and messages.
So, what do you think? A pile of rubble or what? Scroll through the pictures and all will be revealed.   

That taught me, didn't it? Do not take anything at face value. I don't normally, but without any obvious clues in the artwork itself, I almost missed the point. Dang! Must take care to look deeper, and not dismiss something as being of no value.

I usually decide on which pieces of art I like best by what I see in front of me, but now I know the story behind it I find myself being drawn to the pile. There is beauty in it. My eyes want to search through it and discover the smaller hidden gems among the mighty boulders. I want to go beach combing. It will take me a long time to learn all these arty ways, but I'll get there eventually.

Thanks for popping in. Are you ready for Easter? I don't go anywhere on bank holidays, like the quietness of my own home. Another arty conundrum tomorrow.
Toodle pip


  1. Taught me too Ilona. Looking at your pictures there is no way that look's like anything other than a pile of old stones...I would have had the same thought as you. I always feel a little sad when I see litter, debris etc on the beach, anywhere really...I'm a picker upper and try to do my bit but how would you know with polystyrene that looks like stones. Looking forward to tomorrows pic's. Happy Easter x Rae x

  2. pics and musings12 April 2017 at 10:51

    Love that story and those pebbles, even though they're artificial, are still beautiful. It's like a man-made thing desperately trying to fit in with its environment...🙂

  3. I also thought it was a pile of pebbles. Frightening isn't it? Because we can't see what's in the sea goodness knows what damage we are doing to it. It's only man isn't it that has this destructive streak to nature in him? No other animal would destroy its environment like we are doing. Heaven save the planet from man.

    Joan (Wales)

  4. Wow! I went through the pictures and from them I didn't realise, but perhaps in the gallery I may have noticed after a second look. You see I can't resist beachcombing when on holiday and I love a good pebble. In the past I have picked up "pebbles" like these, only to discover that they are polystyrene debris. It is shocking what is found in the ocean, from ghost gear to nurdles and plastic bags, all of which kill and maim marine life. Jean.

  5. That's horrific, and just as thought provoking as the poppies you showed us yesterday. Depressing. Karen

  6. I looked at your photos and enlarged them and couldn't see anything other than pebbles.How odd they have taken the same form.It made me wonder if the vast stretch of pebbles of Chesil beach has a mixture of natural and manmade. What you said about finding what's hidden is inspiring -I love to have time for a good ponder x(thanks for showing us)

  7. Nope sorry don't like it. I like art to cheer me up with it's beauty not depress me with it's message.

  8. Pamela Erlewine12 April 2017 at 19:49

    Thank you for sharing these pictures. I was just sure they were pebbles found at the beach until the end! Fascinating and frightening at the same time. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months and always look forward to what you have to share with your readers. Just wanted to say hello from Nebraska, U. S.

  9. wow...

    I loved it thinking it was rocks and such, as I too collect rocks/geologic stuff (just for fun).. Always have

    when I read what it was, felt sad at how humans have spread their trash/castoffs. This stuff is not good for person or gases lots of nasty toxins, and when it breaks down to tiny bits (eventually), the birds/fish/worms all eat it thinking it is tiny bits of food. Often dead critters are found with stomachs full of this bits and larger pieces, and the critters starve to death, as it has no nutrition..

    very though provoking..

    Big Thumbs up.

  10. My first thought was: oh good grief, looks a bit like the famous 'untidy bed' that Tracey Emin exhibited years ago (I didn't think that was art); my second thought after reading on, was, oh good grief, that is really sad and depressing about the way mankind treats the planet, but hats off to the artist for bringing this issue to the forefront. I don't live near the sea but as have previously said, and whined on about, the countryside where I live is litter-strewn in hedges, on verges etc and it absolutely makes me furious. A quick aside, I heard on Radio 5 today a debate about litter (especially fast food containers) and a gentleman caller suggested the cartons etc being stamped with the registration vehicle details (he was unsure about legal aspects to this but seemed to think it had been piloted in a scheme abroad); of course if this was feasible it doesn't deal with the pedestrian aspect. Just thought I would pass this interesting information on: something has to be done about litter. Amanda

  11. Yep...that happens on our beach here in Hawaii too. The other type of "rock" I find is globs of burned plastic. I keep an eye on about 300 meters of beach near my home. Usually I will take a bucket with me each week to the beach to pick up plastic that has floated in from the Pacific. Sometimes I have to walk the whole 300 meters to fill up my bucket. Other times, especially just after a storm, I can fill it in just one meter.

  12. For one year, I was stationed at the U.S. Navy base on Diego Garcia, one of the islands in the British Indian Ocean Territory, and one of the most isolated places on Earth. Not much to do, so I'd collect seashells at the weekend. But as I walked those beautiful coral beaches, I'd see plastic trash everywhere. Soon I was filling the back of a pickup truck with flip-flops, shampoo bottles and countless other items every Saturday and Sunday. They had labels from China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Kenya, etc. There was no end to it. In that one year alone, I calculated that I'd taken over 3 tons to the recycling unit at the power plant, but it was still just "a drop in the ocean". R/Tim

  13. Wow! I had no idea the pile of rubble was man's trash. Extremely worrying. Thank you to the previous comment writer. Such a pity other people need to clean up rubbish carelessly thrown away by folks thousands of miles away. Reminded me of an exhibition I saw many years ago, a big glass museum case showing items picked up from a local beach - just as was described, rubbish from all over the world. Even though the items had travelled so far
    you could still clearly read the labels and know the country of origin. We must all look after our planet - in the first instance by not littering!

  14. Very interesting exhibit Ilona. The beaches near me are generally v clean, I get upset if I see people dropping litter, I just have no understanding of why they do it. I'm also at home over Easter, everywhere near me will be absolutely packed, no seats in cafes and supermarkets are already heaving. All the local attractions will be manic, it's good for the local area though. I don't like being around hordes of kids and families as it reminds me too much that I'm on my own.

    1. I don't like crowds.I am a holiday maker who avoids others most of the time.I get to nip out before it's too busy and walk where it's more peaceful.I haven't been ''blessed'' to have children - now I'm quite happy about it .I'm an only child and so enjoy doing as I please.If I am at home I go out early and return before the stress starts and listen to the radio xLovely

  15. I was really surprised at the pebbles. I wonder how heavy they are and could they be put to good use such as sea defence walls or insulating material? The government should act on this, we need to look after our seas.


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