The Art of Compost: Do you promise to funk?

Funk to Funky Opening © Catherine RutgersIt began late last August: the campaign to make compost. First, there was a neglected pile of garden stuff, left in a heap all summer long. Greenish and soggy and hard to pull apart, but I did. And it was fun in the most satisfying way. As the season got colorful, I walked through the neighborhood and found one lawn covered in yellow, one in red. I took large canvas bags and filled them, carried them home. I picked up seed pods on the avenue, and neighbors brought their kitchen scraps.

Every leaf was chopped into bits, every twig snapped short. I filled dozens of buckets, worked a couple hours each day. Often first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Every single bucket had its own smell. Always sensational, often fragrant: mint, orange peel, fresh coffee grounds. As I chopped and snipped, everything else fell away. There was only me and the thousands of leaves and stems and twigs I had the privilege to handle and dismantle.

The feeling of it! The look of it. At one point I thought, “If you document this, it’s art.” And promptly dismissed the idea. But on November 4, 2011, I started to take photos. This is pretty much the way everything looked while I was working. There’s a color twist above. The eggshells in number two were arranged (before being crushed with scissors). For number seven, I flipped some leaves over to show off that glistening red. The last photo is also the last bucket: December 23, 2011, at 4:35 p.m.

Image 2347 © Catherine RutgersImage 2452 © Catherine RutgersImage 2384 © Catherine RutgersImage 2423 © Catherine RutgersImage 2457 © Catherine RutgersImage 2450 © Catherine RutgersImage 2443 © Catherine RutgersImage 2506 © Catherine RutgersImage 2458 © Catherine RutgersImage 2517 © Catherine Rutgers

Photographs and words by Catherine Rutgers © 2012

About CatRutgers4Art

Original art by Catherine Rutgers, with musings on the media and the methods. Founded in 2010. “I believe in magic moments. Am not afraid to be sentimental, and adore a tweaked cliché. Two of my favorite pastimes are watching paint dry and observing green tendrils unfold.”
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2 Responses to The Art of Compost: Do you promise to funk?

  1. Thank you, Joreen, Dan, and Paulette! It’s great to hear from other bloggers!!

  2. Pingback: Beyond Perfect | CatRutgers4art

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