Spit-love and Wild Art


Our Spit-Love story’s anniversary is today, ten years today. A good day to begin telling our story, yes? And I am delighted to be the one in our small collective of artists to tell it.

I’ve noticed during our time together ― The Spit and mine ― that most visitors, especially the camera bearing ones are interested in this urban wilderness for its wild life, the conservation efforts. Visitors without cameras might be carrying fishing equipment if you are out early enough to catch them, or they are earbuds wearing walkers and joggers.  Oh, and the cyclists. 

The results of a Google search confirm this.  Compared to recreational and wild life interests, there is relatively little to be found about wild art, about the creative instinct and its dance with us on The Spit.  This has pride of place on the Stealth Art Collective’s list of what we love and what excites us about The Spit.

In the beginning using photo documentation, our purpose was to track the creative instinct as it reveals itself in the spontaneous, anonymously made artworks to be found there.  We’ve not been to another place where you can get this close to a clear uncompromised view of the creative instinct at work. 

In this wild, messy urban location, there is absolutely no incentive to make art: no curator, no art enthusiast to please, no critic interested, no formal institutionalized setting for display. Certainly, no prestige. Urban-world ideas of what is precious and valuable and conventional definitions of what is art  are impossible to apply. And, except for once in 2014 ―  that’s a story for another time ― there are no financial rewards, and yet…

I had experienced The Spit for years before 2008 but on April 14 I saw it differently. At the furthest point, below the lighthouse I saw this:

I felt a shift in perception. It was one of those rare experiences when the universe seems to open her curtain just a little to reveal something important, enlightening, some truth. 

And so it was the first day of the next ten years. 

Immediately we made a rule of conduct.  If we were tracking the creative instinct, then we could not intervene, we would only document what we found.  And just as immediately, we broke our rule. Not our fault. The creative instinct coaxed us to play.

There was something irresistible about crowning it with a stone spine. Perhaps it was for us a way of marking the beginning of something significant.  You never know when something is beginning until hindsight kicks in. We’ll return to this fine rebar creature in its many incarnations later in the story.

Until next time. 

The Stealth Art Collective

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