Monday, November 18, 2013

Dylan's Gates

My dad has a plain ol' farm gate at the end of his driveway. It's the gate that comes right after the END OF ROAD sign. It's the gate that has a NO TRESPASSING sign on one post and PRIVATE PROPERTY painted boldly on a watering can attached to the other.

It's the gate people drive through and find themselves sitting in front of his garage asking themselves, "what happened to the road?" If I happen to be there, there are also two large dogs barking at them while they attempt to figure out how their sign-blindness or illiteracy allowed them to drive to such lengths.

I find myself in what I have officially labeled my "mid-life craft crisis." Fear not, I am not going to the dark side and diving into the cult of scrap-booking. Exacto knives, stickers, and such don't have the right potential for injury. I'm buying tools. I'm looking into welding classes.

"Give me your scrap, your remnants,
Your discarded trashes yearning to be free,
The random refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the random, tempest-tost to me..."

I find myself looking at things destined for the recycling bin or garbage -- and imagining what they'll be in a next life. I'm playing with cutting glass bottles. (And bandages.) I tetris-ed together a step for @'s fort with random pieces of scrap wood. I'm rescuing old tools from garbage-can abandonment to integrate into projects.

I have great porcine plans for a 55-gallon drum waiting in the wings of the side yard. Hmm... Wings. Pigasus, perhaps?  

And so, the gate. Ever since I saw a fence made out of gears and chain and tools and such, I've imagined making a gate out of parts and pieces of this and that. And then, traipsing through the interwebs as I sometimes do, I came across gates made by Bob Dylan. Yes, that Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan working in his shop. Welding parts and pieces of this and that into... gates. Magnificent, amazing, repurposed-for-a-purpose gates.

In fact, "Mood Swings," an exhibit of Dylan's gates opened yesterday in London at the Halcyon Gallery. Gears, fans, tools, oh my. His shop looks like a candy store, all shapes and sizes of metal goodies. I can smell the rust. Perhaps one of these days, that plain ol' farm gate will be no longer. Replaced by evidence of the mid-life craft crisis gone into full welded gear.
Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.” – Bob Dylan

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