The Pastoral Concert
Ceramic vase, paper clips, rubber bands, coins, batteries, plinth
110 x 50 x 150cm
A large, ornamental vase lies shattered on the floor below its pedestal, revealing its contents: an accumulation of miscellaneous household detritus.
The vase, placed on a plinth for display, is both a symbol of of the achievements of the past, and a symbol of potential—as a container and as an object of value on display. Its contents belie its ambitions and status as an objet d’art—an item itself deserving of admiration. The work begs the question whether giving the vase a functional role has reduced its value by detracting from its role as an ideological object.
The work, in its allegory to death, becomes a snapshot of a spent life, with the promises and beauty of youth, the inevitable tragedy of death, and the myriad compromises in between. Through the act of destruction, the object regains its status as a 'pure’ symbol, an object of ideology, mystique and beauty—an idea.