On the Fence – A New Perspective

I recently took a cruise to the eastern islands of the Caribbean and took the time on each island visited to pick up at least one bagful of trash and then select a few pieces to bring back to the states, adding to my collection for future artworks. Most interesting, from my point of view… was our last port of call, Gaudeloupe. Before I left the ship, I went topside to scan the island for a route to the water’s edge and spotted a place that appeared to be a public area for getting small boats into the water, about a mile walk via winding streets.

#inspiresolutionsNow I had my plan. As I walked I could not help but notice the beautiful wall paintings / graffiti on so many of the buildings that were in various stages of decay. The island seemed rich with cultural activities. Pointe-A-Pitre, a beautiful little town making the best with what they had. #InspireSolutions today for tomorrow.

As I made my way to the boat area, just past an open air farmer’s market whose vendors took special care to arrange the food as a rainbow’s expression, I stopped to inquire about a tool that a man had on his utilitarian table by the water’s edge. My fascination was the fact that it was a stick with 5 or 6 metal bottle caps nailed in a neat row to one side. He said it was for de-scaling fish. I thanked him and moved on.

I reached my destination and took stock of the area. There were two very large mounds of empty conch shells baring their smooth pink interior. Gazing at this site next to a smaller heap of items left to degrade in the sun, I noticed a feeling of sadness.

As I turned to head back, I glanced toward a few trees on the lot’s edge. Living trees help to bring be back to balance. Next to the trees was a tall open wire fence creating an visual barrier to the adjacent private property. On the public side of the fence there was a rather large collection of glass bottles and assorted items of trash. Then I took a closer look at the fence. I was heartened to see items of trash lovingly tied to it, making an artistic social commentary statement. While there, several more items of grounded trash magically made their way to the fence. They were attached with short pieces of bright blue plastic-like modern netting material. In the United States I’ve also seen fences used as fair game for artistic expression with found objects, and was pleased to see it on the island. I’d love to see another photo of this fence as it grows with additional pieces.

On my way back to the ship I grabbed an empty plastic bag that was floating through a walkway and collected larger pieces of trash, emptying it out onto the sidewalk to document it, then placed into a trash bin, just before going through the security gate for the ship’s passengers. Yes, a few oxidized bottle caps and other small objects I brought home. Maybe they will show up on a collaborative public Global TRASHformation fence project; contemplate that.