a bundle of sticks

Moments of creative departure 1

Can a single action be creatively catalytic in effort and effect? 

Is a prayer from the heart as large as a shout in a crowd?

  northam burrows 1, north devon (pward 2011)

this concept has arisen from a returning

of some sticks ‘borrowed’ from a beach

for the participatory purpose of drawing in some sand


but the bundle was too big for my hands to comfortably carry

and I chose to tie them together with some long grass

and so they became something more


initially they were the ingredients for a fire

a bundle of potential energy

for warmth and for food


I have gathered and tied together

I have intended and contemplated a future use

metaphorically and symbolically and systemically and obsessively orientated…

 northam burrows, north devon (pward 2011)

Since my initial encounter with ‘the bundle of sticks’ I have created a series of bundles with a variety of different found materials in whatever environment I have found myself. I have contemplated the significance of the gathering and making process, and the implications of the object, symbolically, practically and ecologically, within the situation that it has been ultimately positioned. I have photographically recorded the installed interventions and left them for others to freely contemplate. I have pondered their suitability within a conventional gallery setting and the possibility of colouring them with earth pigments. It has nostalgically reminded me of a time in my life when I gathered wood for fuel.

Most recently I was informed that bundles of sticks are traditionally known as ‘faggots’, a word with many and varied implications (see below), but more importantly an object of some significance within the folklore and traditions of the West Country and indeed an object whose creation is considered an ‘art’ by older foresters. Many remember using them for quick heat sources within solid fuel stoves and cooking methods, a skill that will soon be needed again as fossil fuel supplies diminish. The ‘faggot’ is also remembered historically for its part in punishments for heresy and witchcraft, and hence the suppression of individuality and earth-based animate beliefs, and indeed has been used as a symbol for both fascism and socialism with an implied meaning of ‘unity is strength’!

 2 bundles in a birch tree 3, haldon forest (pward 2011)

Faggot, fagot, or faggoting may refer to:

▪                faggot or fagot, branch or twig, or bundle of these

▪                                  Fasces

▪                                  Faggot (unit), archaic unit of measurement for bundles of sticks

▪                                  Death by burning, metonymically referred to by the faggots which fuel the fire

▪                                  Ashen faggot (or ashton fagot), Christmas wassail tradition in the West Country of England

▪                Faggot (slang), pejorative, now usually for a gay man, also having older and derived pejorative senses

▪                Faggot (food), British meatball commonly made of pork offal

▪                Faggots (novel), 1978 novel by Larry Kramer

▪                Faggoting (metalworking), forge welding a bundle of bars of iron and steel

▪                Faggoting (knitting), variation of lace knitting in which every stitch is a yarn over or a decrease

▪                Faggoting stitch, featherstitch, or Cretan stitch, embroidery stitch used to make decorative seams or to attach insertions

▪                Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, USSR jet fighter with NATO reporting name “Fagot”

▪                9K111 Fagot, an anti-tank guided missile

▪                Fagotto, 16′ pedal reed organ stop

▪                Faggot cell, blast cell type found in acute promyelocytic leukemia

▪                Faggot voter, hireling eligible to vote as nominal titleholder of part a subdivided property

▪                Eumeta crameri or faggot worm, from the bundles of twigs it binds to itself

▪                Jacob Faggot (1699-1777), Swedish scientist who miscalculated the pitches of the Strähle construction

See also

▪                Fag (disambiguation)

▪                Fagott or bassoon, woodwind instrument

▪                Fire and Faggot Parliament, English Parliament of 1414

 From Wikipedia

As an ecological art project its implications through process – how we chose and construct its elements, according to purpose and an animate reciprocal aesthetic – site-orientation and resource; and metaphorically and historically, and how these understandings may lead to further consideration and action suggest that it could constitute a dynamic and long-lasting ‘moment of creative departure’…

a faggot of pens (pward 2011)

potential . process . permutation

positioning . possibilities . power

presence . proliferate . performed

for more images please visit my a bundle of sticks facebook gallery

2 Comments on “a bundle of sticks”

  1. […] a bundle of sticks (intim8ecology.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] a bundle of sticks « expressions of an intimate ecologyJun 11, 2011 … of some sticks ‘borrowed’ from a beach. for the participatory purpose of drawing in some sand. but the bundle was too big for my hands to … […]

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