News flash! I’m going to jettison the post I was originally going to write today, and focus on the process of creating and abandoning some of my work!
I confess that I’ve been a member of a Facebook group called Art Abandonment (sorry, I tried to include a link, but it didn’t work, so you’ll need to search on Facebook) for years, and have never once made a conscious effort to abandon anything (shame on me). Sure, there’s always the bookmarks that I forget in my library books, but these accidental abandonments, don’t really count. I have left mystery presents, on Christmas trees, but I generally know exactly who will find them, so that doesn’t count either! Heh, heh…but it is fun though!!
The group was started by well known Assemblage Artist, Michael deMeng, it is a Public Group, and currently stands at 35,692 members. Now that’s a lot of abandoning! The group description (taken directly from the Facebook page) is as follows: “Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe. The idea is that folks can make something and leave it for a lucky unsuspecting person to find. Artists can then post locations and photos of abandoned goodies, and finders can let everyone know that they are the lucky finder! O sweet abandon!” There’s more to it, of course,including the suggestion that you leave a contact email, so the recipient can let someone know (either your personal email, or if you’re not comfortable with that, firstname.lastname@example.org). That way, you may find out more about who found your art, and how they reacted to it. It’s amazing how often the art gets to the right person, and at just right moment in their lives. This unselfish sharing of your art, could be just the thing to lift someone out of their own personal, blue funk. It won’t solve all the problems in the world, but spreading a little light, wonderment and laughter (especially at this time of the year), couldn’t hurt. Could it?
It doesn’t need to be complicated! I’ve seen all types of art abandoned, such as little clay critters, Xmas ornaments, polymer clay, handmade cards, drawings, paintings, bookmarks, knitting, jewellery, painted rocks, altered boxes, Zentangles, and everything in-between. There is no risk, only fun, and a sense of giving back to your community!
This isn’t the only thing that you could do, to bring warmth and joy, to some unsuspecting person. I’ve recently been spotting photos and articles of hats and scarves left tied to trees, notes attached, encouraging people to take them to keep warm (the first photo, is from a local news article, about abandonments in Regina, Saskatchewan). Other warm articles of clothing, could be donated to shelters, churches, &/or social services. Food and cash donations are always welcome, and necessary at the Food Bank. On a jewellery Facebook group, it was suggested that you might be able to donate jewellery items, to women’s shelters, to help put a little light back into their lives. With all of the security concerns, this might be difficult to do, but perhaps you could try donating through an intermediary.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to give back to your community. I don’t know about you, but I have many art and jewellery objects, that are certainly ripe for abandoning (not to mention scarves, and non-perishable food items)! I was taught that it was better to give, than to receive, but I’m planning on getting a lot of joy out of these adventures. You will light up your own life, and as a bonus, someone else’s life, at the same time. Now, have I convinced you to abandon, something you’ve created?
Please note: all of the images in this post have been grabbed off the Internet, and none are of my own personal work. I haven’t started abandoning art yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. Perhaps you’ll even find a little something!