‘Impermanence’ 2022

One of the most exciting factors of my work with snails and organic pigments over these past three years, is the concept of impermanence. Due to the nature of the processes involved in the creation of these expressive, abstract paintings, I don’t know how long the work will survive. Preserved behind a glass frame, they may last a very long time. Or the organic matter may start to break down. The chemicals from the snail’s slime, may degrade the paper over time. I have no way of knowing, other than to wait and see.

For a once-perfectionist and someone who feels better when they are in the know, this is a thought I have enjoyed far more than I anticipated I would.

And this led to a further exploration into the impermanence of art. Is it art if it isn’t permanent?

Delores worked on this piece of purple abstraction. The paper she painted onto is seeded. This means it can be planted to grow wildflowers (perfect for pollinators and to protect the climate). The painting itself is beautiful. The line work combined with the texture of the paper and the irregular dots of the seeds, really works.

It is a work of art.

Is it still a work of art if I do this…

Each piece is unique. The snails control the lines, the movement, the emotion of the painting. I control the colour (to an extent as the pigments alter when combined with snail slime) and which snail creates the painting. The performance is one of collaboration, creation and combined slowness.

These smaller A5 pieces are created by nature, for nature. The snails paint, express and perform. The human rips and soaks the paper pieces. The seeds grow and blossom into a wildflower garden. The bees and butterflies enjoy the pollen and continue to help the Earth grow and provide oxygen to support life.

Maybe this is the truest form of Art?