So, I’ve been thinking.

antony-gormleys-4th-plinthIn the Extremely Unlikely event that I get a place on the Plinth in Trafalgar Square at a time that I can do, I need something to do for an hour. And this raises some questions. It’s not really art to just sit there, and from the comments I’ve heard (and hecklers I’ve seen) this is not entertainment and certainly doesn’t look good. I mean, I think I’m reasonably attractive, but just staring at me for an hour would make me uncomfortable and bored. ‘Nuff said.

I think that since the object of this is to become a part of a living piece of art, you need to do something visual. That’s good – I can deal with visual stuff – I am a visual learner after all 🙂 – but I also think it’s a perfect opportunity to do something or raise awareness of/for something that I’m passionate about. After all, this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it should be spent doing something that you feel is worth doing.

So, what am I good at?  Well, teaching obviously, but this does mean that there would have to be some sort of audience participation for it to go well, and that can be difficult at 3 am in the rain. I am good at making things, though so maybe something to do with crafting (read: crochet!). I like baking but that’s out as you have to take everything with you, and an oven isn’t really an accessory that the health and safety people would approve, I’m sure… I can read out loud in a good voice, although you’d need a sound system for this to work. I’m passing fair with technology, but again, does not mix well with rain.

What am I passionate about? Language and words, poetry, children, making things with your hands, supporting people who make things with their hands, faith, fair trade, laughter, music, …

I have come up with a few ideas, although they are definitely in the nebulous early stages at the moment. I also think it should be a positive thing, whatever it is. So, happy words on placards. Or something that will benefit others. What I’ve got so far:

  • Origami. Visual, lovely, not so good in the wet. And would need some reason for doing it such as ‘100 cranes in an hour’ or using really big paper or something like that. And probably need some sort of commentary for it to be entertaining. But then, I like to gab so maybe that would be the easy part…
  • 60 of my favourite words. One per minute on placards, with a short explanation or example or both. Visual and semi-interactive. Could have a mixture of my words, friends’ words and words given to me by strangers. Hmmm…
  • Crochet for the world. Doing one small piece of crochet wouldn’t have enough of a visual impact, I think, so getting people to make knitted or crocheted squares that I attempt to make into an afghan on the plinth might be a better idea. Ideally the result would be in aid of something, like aid for the Third World or Action on Climate Change or something. Needs some thought.
  • Reading poetry/writing poetry. Again, good for me, but not very visual.
  • Something faith-based. I could hold a service of some sort (I’m quite practised at the Taize kind!) or do something else visual… Seems kind of tenuous that…

I’m actually open to suggestions. Like I said, I’d like to do something visual and something that I’m passionate about, so send me your ideas. On a postcard if you like, but leaving a comment may be easier…


About Beth

Canadian English teacher living in the UK with husband, daughter, imminent baby and cat...
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4 Responses to So, I’ve been thinking.

  1. Hazel Phillips says:

    Are you still breastfeeding? Or could you take Lucy with you and have her playing on the plinth?

  2. Beth says:

    I did think of that, but not sure about the one-person at a time rule or health and safety reactions…. Something to consider though!

    What about crocheting boobs to promote breastfeeding awareness?? Cheeky….

  3. Hazel Phillips says:

    Well, I’d let them get away with a safety excuse but not health *lol*

    Would be so fab if you could breastfeed up there – imagine what a positive message it would give! If you did, you should think about contacting ABM/NCT/LLL first in case they could get some good publicity out of it.

    I’m half tempted to register myself, but C is far too interested in investigating stairs and steps and edges and not interested enough in breastfeeding to keep her in one place!

  4. Beth says:

    I guess that’s the other consideration. L’s not mobile (much) now, but the next draw is for September…

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