Sunday, May 9, 2010

A field trip with Artist at Exit 0.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Albertus Gorman (Artist at Exit 0) in real life (after being blogging buddies for the last 8 or so months!) and go on an adventure to his art studio: the Ohio River. In case you haven't checked out this blog before, Albertus builds whimsical figures out of the trash that washes up on the river's bank, and he weaves together delightful stories with his sculptural creations as characters. He also finds curious collections of objects, and really amazing collisions of human/animal culture that he shares on his blog.

We journeyed to the Falls of the Ohio River state park, and the river was high, high, and very dramatic. I found it a little terrifying, actually, looking at the incredible rushing waters containing all manner of objects (including giant tree trunks.) The bank of the river is a strange wonderland composed of woven sticks and logs interspersed with colorful plastic trash, chunks of styrofoam, parts of dolls and other toys, and things like tires. It was amazing to explore. Albertus quickly built a styrofoam figure that he propped up in the squishy, slimy river mud. I think he looks like a tourguide:

We also tromped through the tall grasses near the river to search for interesting wildlife. Albertus brought along a bird call, and he and a Carolina Wren sang back and forth for a few minutes. He handed the call to me and took out his camera to see if he could get a shot of the wren. I tried my best to make pretty wren sounds, but as soon as I started manipulating the bird call, the Carolina Wren skeedaddled, no doubt disgusted by my amateurish squawking.

Albertus had concocted a lovely little project for us. We wrote some letters that we stuffed into little glass bottles that had been found by the river, put colorful bobbers (also found at the river's edge) in the bottles, and then cast our messages into the waters at a calmer part of the Ohio River. Some lucky soul will receive some secrets from me, and another will get a love letter. Albertus didn't share his notes with me, so I imagine they must have been pretty juicy. There were four messages in all.

After a nice trip through New Albany and then dinner at a delicious Indian restaurant in Louisville, Albertus brought me back to my little cabin in the woods and presented me with an unexpected and marvelous gift! A bird made from river detritus! It is a treasure.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this adventure with me. The bird looks bright in the sunlight...tweet, tweet.