We had a ripping time

David Smith destroying some of his unopened #Letter365 pieces
Pretending to enjoy tearing up my work

Saturday 11 April 2015 – the final day of the #Letter386 installation in the Allsop Gallery at Bridport Arts Centre – saw the destruction of the unopened pieces. Fortunately there was a last minute reprieve for a further 3 months so in the end only a little over 80 pieces were torn up be me with a little help from my friends.

David Smith and audience members rip up unopened pieces
With a little help from my friends

More than 75% of the work was saved from destruction and in so many ways the whole project was a great success with lots of great feedback and visitors returning 4 and 5 times to see the work unfold as new days were revealed. For me the greatest pleasure came from seeing how many people were prepared to spend the time to let the work weave a story with them. The number of coinciences was phenominal and I hope to write about some of them in the coming days.

#Letter365 fragments go in the bin
Torn up and binned

And what of the remains of the unopened ones. The sack is in my studio awaiting my attention. The initial plan of a public conflagration had to be shelved because of bureaucracy and the shredding didn’t happen as I couldn’t get my hands on a sturdy enough shredder in time so the letters and contents are mostly in quarters or smaller, all mixed up. Before this I had been toying with making some work out of torn up paper stuck back together: like letters  from someone’s bin. I never realised I could have the perfect source of materials! At present I think it is likely I will pulp it all further and make paper out of it. Decisions still to be made!

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