5 monkeys dancing

not strictly environmental art but…

the wonder and beauty of nature, its diversity and resonance, is evident in all things.

dancing monkeys, the beach shop, westward ho! (p ward 2013)dancing monkeys, the beach shop, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

take these mass produced (made in china), solar-powered dancing plastic monkeys I found in my local toy shop (price £2.50 each or 5 for £10). I saw one and simply fell in love with the charm of its cheeky little face and seductively hypnotic movement – it’s hard to walk past one without a smile and an attempt to emulate that hip action!?! despite the hideous process and materials of its production, packaging and transportation, the fantastic little fellows meet many of the criteria for environmental and ecological art, animated as they are by the sun and drawing us to interact and participate bodily with them, offering health, wellbeing and joy through their simplicity, as well as an opportunity to share. and despite the seemingly identical mechanical process of their manufacture and materiality each monkey also displays a subtle individuality of form, detail and movement, reminding us of those qualities within the ‘natural’ world*.

dancing monkey packaging (photo - p ward 2013) dancing monkey packaging (photo: p ward 2013)

while it is easy to judge and criticize this evidently crazy ecocidal world in which we sadly and unavoidably participate on a daily basis, it is most heartening to observe the presence of Nature – of birth, life and decay, of joy, sadness and monotony – in even the most inanimate and overly manufactured products of contemporary life. our lives, the technologies that we rely upon and the products we so wastefully create, and even the political systems and civilizations that we uphold and tear down, are all intrinsically and thankfully founded in Nature and subject to its laws.

5 monkeys a bundle of sticks (p ward 2013) 5 monkeys a bundle of sticks (p ward 2013)

so, please take a moment to dance with me a little, secure in the truth and beauty of Nature…

serving suggestion: accompany with music of your own choice (i particularly liked sinnerman by nina simone) or just watch it as it is. enjoy!

© P Ward 2013


* or is it merely our perceptions that are shifting from moment to moment, our relationships that are altering as our experience evolves? maybe that’s a question for another day. whatever, let us not forget a sense of humour in our work, however great or small, however humble or potentially far reaching. as the well known saying goes “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”!…

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