So it has come to this... Is the beginning of the year really that un-interesting?
'I wonder what it could be?'
Thinks: Maybe it's a belated Christmas present? A free DVD? A book? Or no, better yet, an early birthday present!?
'Uh, yay, it's a block of wood.'
Ok, so maybe I was a little disappointed but only because at the age of 27, I still have child-like, wildly over-the-top and romantic notions of what the post should be (it rarely lives up to this expectation). And whilst at first, it isn't exactly the most inspiring of things to receive in the mail it is indefinitely better than getting bills or bank statements.
Anyway, it isn't just a block of wood, in actuality...
It's a cheese board for serving stilton, brie, assorted cheddars and biscuits,
It's a potable chopping block for your mobile carrot dicing needs,
It's the infamous karate block of wood that ten-thousand, yes ten-thousand of the best martial artists couldn't chop in half,
It's a step for when you need to be 1cm taller,
It's a pantone test board for 11_0601,
It's a shelf,
An uninspiring book-end,
A unique garden feature,
A prospective home to a wood worm,
A toad's and other small creatures floating transportation device,
It's an imagination enhancer-inator -the essential, must-have toy for next Christmas,
It's a percussion instrument,
It's an ornate piece of firewood,
It's the last thing an ant will ever see,
It's a 'colour-of-milk' testing board,
It's a poem,
It's a weapon in the wrong hands,
It's a poor subsidiary visibility-board so motorists notice you in dark conditions,
It's a tiny seat,
A ready-meal for a beaver,
An ill-formed Frisbee,
It's something to talk to that's a really good listener,
A Zen-garden for a doll's house,
It's a physical manifestation of silence,
It's a modesty concealer for nudists,
A slate for your minimalist wood cabin,
A sledge for small cats or squirrels,
It's an unsolved Mensa puzzle,
A washboard without ridges,
A squibble-board for the popular sport of Huffle-whack,
A portable roof,
It's a sophisticated counting aid for the representation of one,
It's a life-form from Mars,
It's delicious...(putt) or maybe it isn't,
It's a ramp for ducklings to escape busy roads,
It's an ancient artefact used for mapping snowy tundra,
It's a shadow-spotting reflective plain,
It's a writer's block un-blocker,
It's a canvas for creating a unique piece of artwork on that can be sold, with others, at auction raising money for Musgrove Park Hospital, 'Art for Life'.
That's right! This superbly cut, sanded and primed A5 block of MDF is a canvas ready for the painting, drawing, collaging or any other media. Once complete, the block is sent back to the 'Art for Life' team where it is photographed and posted online with other artist's blocks (there looks to be about 100-200 artists taking part!). The public can then start biding online in advance prior to the auction which, this year, is going to be held at the hospital on Tuesday 20th May. All proceeds raised go towards supporting, 'Art for Life' which facilitates and provides an access to art in the hospital making a more welcoming, stimulating and supportive environment for visitors, patients and staff.
Pretty exciting after all. Whilst I still admit to having an initial lack of enthralment at getting what is essentially a block of wood through the door, in reality, the potential of a blank canvas is most interesting and to reiterate, it's the opportunity to create something, small, unique and special that will be both an original piece of artwork for someone to own as well as raising money for an excellent local charitable cause.
It was my intention to have fun with creating alternative uses for the canvas and I hope I have succeeded in demonstrating some of the delights, absurdity and possibilities that can come from nothing. The challenge now is to turn said block of wood into 'art' (Ho Ho, is that all and you thought the other ideas were wacky). I'm fortunate to have been invited to take part in this for the second time and on a more serious note, the standard is always high and it is a challenge I look forward to embarking on and contributing towards. I have a few ideas already, stay posted as I'll be putting more details of both my block, other artists' blocks and how you can bid on them here on the blog in the near future.
I've until February 21st to complete it so I'd better get going.
And, well, you know if all else fails the cheese board option would make a pretty good backup!