Friday, April 26, 2013

The Wall

©2013 Fiona Dempster - The Wall - unfinished - Hipstamatic app on iPhone
The Wall has had to pause - because we have run out of books.  As you can see from the photos below I'm about 75% done - I have yet to finish the tail end.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Curve in the unfinished Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - Zigzag section of The Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - The Wall - paused
But today I also started the process of adding other purposes or roles to The Wall. Over time I'm going to put orchids and moss etc into crevices. Today I planted a couple of Australian native orchids - quite hardy and produce small purple flowers. I used some of Fiona's left over paper pulp to act as the base for the orchids - the pulp was beginning to go off.

©2013 Barry Smith - Orchids in The Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - Orchids in The Wall -  with Fiona's paper pulp
I also placed the first two peace messages into The Wall. I hope in the future that people who visit the studio-gallery or the block might want to add to this by writing their own peace messages and place them in grooves or crevices between the book covers or pages. The idea for this came to me from two merging sources: Fiona's weather-grams for the Flags for Peace; and a book titled The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002). One of the characters in the book would place messages in a stone wall as a way of dealing with difficulties and anxiety. I thought that paper based messages in The Wall is such a small positive thing to do for peace.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Peace messages in The Wall
The Wall will be completed in the next little while when I access more books to recycle-repurpose. And the process of change and growth for The Wall will be ongoing - it will weather as the books have no treatment or protection; it will grow orchids; it will receive messages; and it will be a living part of the landscape - it will be a piece of ephemeral art in the landscape.

And what music to listen to whilst building a book wall ACDC and Pink Floyd (The Wall) of course.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Paper Camera photo of the paused wall


  1. Fabulous! Every aspect of it-fabulous!

  2. The Wall is totally awesome!!!! one of the best concepts ever!!! and the peace messages adds a wonderful spiritual touch.

  3. I can hardly believe how awesome this is! Hope I'm around to see it again as it ages.


  4. Hello, Barry.

     Your work is embraced in your gentleness.
     Sharing a moment of peace.
     It is a joy for all.

     Your heart warm message in the cold.
     I always give mind of thanks to you.

    Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃

  5. barry, this is a project to stand up and clap about. i am impressed and surprised and delighted!

  6. Love how its coming along. The addition of orchids and peace prayers is great, too.

  7. It is coming on well, hope to see it one day. I found the secret life of bees intrigeing ( spelling?)!

  8. This is amazing Barry and I love the idea of paper messages... prayers... hidden in the wall .... amidst the orchids. My heart is racing at the thought of such an exciting idea. (Wish I could send you books! We've cleared out 20 big cartons of books in the past 3 weeks. All gone to the Hospice Book Shop). Looking forward to seeing the wall over time as it weathers. A lovely place to sit too.

  9. AA, LT, JM, Ruma, V, VA, P & R - thanks for the positive feedback on the wall - always appreciated when one starts on something that appears a bit crazy. AA - fabulous is a strong recommendation. LT & JM - awesome - I will accept that. LT you are right the peace wishes give it a new dimension. JM - of course you are always welcome to visit the wall and us. Ruma - I am delighted to be able to visit Tatebayashi soon - it continues to build our peaceful links. V - one day you might make it here and add to the wall - that would be cool. VA - the orchids and peace wishes lift it from just being a wall to a living and purposeful work - I like that aspect of it. P - you are always welcome at our place. R- would it not have been so good to have your 20 boxes of books. Maybe you can send me an email of a peace wish you want placed in the wall and I can print it out and add it to the wishes of the wall. I am hopeful that the wall will make its own statement over time - I feel I will just be its caretaker. All go well - peace. B

  10. how fun that you were listening to Pink Floyd as you worked.
    i find this to be quite intriguing and love the peace messages.

    i remember as a child my parents adding a couple rooms on to our house. I climbed up on the roof and wrote a message on a paper and tucked it under a shingle, knowing that the roof would be covered by a new roof... i wish i could remember what i wrote....


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.