This burnt manuscript paper has some gorgeously sculptural forms but will fall to ashes as soon as it is touched. Still, it has all the qualities of a sculpture in that a material has been made into a dimensional form which occupies space. it is strong enough to tough and move and put on a plinth in a gallery.
I've been thinking a lot recently about the perceived value of things in general and art in particular, and how wasteful our society has become although things are more expensive than ever. Yes, it is true that cheap, imported items are flooding the market but also that products, services and labour, especially here in Australia, are massively overpriced.
It is really unnecessary to get into the politics of it all, unless we sit down in an attic window with a good view, a sunset and a bottle of red wine. Let's just say that I, maybe like you too, have always gravitated toward old, worn objects with layers of character and forgotten stories. It speaks of things that lasted longer than three weeks, things that were used over decades and were connected to events and places in the lives of real people. Peeling paint and flaking rust or old houses or boats or cars (not recently old cars with spots of rust, that's just sad, but really old, fully rusted ones of vintage design that lie forgotten in forests and behind sheds on farms) drive me crazy with delight, and love the addition of quirky antiques into contemporary interiors. A faded green old wire fan, a gorgeous, rusty red tricycle, a tattered old bellows...to ground us into reality and connect us into a lineage of existence.
Maybe the key here is that the signs of age on objects reminds us not only of days gone by, that seemed slower and more wholesome that today's hurry, but also of the ephemeral nature of all things. I like it more when beautiful art is made from reclaimed materials and collections of old stuff, and less when it is all about how expensive the materials are. Expensive materials do not good art make.
It is impossible to narrow down what good art is to a watertight definition. That's another discussion for our attic window. Sometimes an object is just beautiful for its form, or its texture, or its delicate puff-and-it-is-gone nature. And for this happy moment, that is enough.