Thursday, 22 February 2018

Year 2019 - Wayne Sleeth - #smallworldfutures

Wayne Sleeth, Little Library, Gibbon's Rent, #unsettledgallery No.6
Small World Futures is a collection of 38 miniature sculptures depicting what life could look like in years to come. Each of these small artworks will be placed in public spaces (#unsettledgallery) around London Bridge. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these worlds here on the website. A writer will also use the world as inspiration to create something new and fresh, their words describing the shape of a new world.

Today we discover the Small World Future of.... Wayne Sleeth
Year 2019

I met a man who could make something out of nothing.

"Like an alchemist!" (Except none of them succeeded.)
"Like a wizard!" (Except they're not real.)
"Like a magician!" (Except the songbird is in reality squashed flat beneath the false floor of the cage.)

And then he was speeding away, ahead of me, out the door.

What I loved about him was his positivity, his self-belief, his happy-face and his vigorous sexual energy. And all the champagne bars he took me to. And the dresses from Jones.

On the day he came home early, I knew something bad was on its way because that morning he dropped a penny on the carpet. He'd never lost money ever before. I picked it up and turned it in my hand. It had been so long since I'd seen one, I almost thought they'd been abolished.

He appeared with his box of belongings, six hours before he would usually arrive home.

"It's all gone," he said.
"There's nothing left."
We sometimes had trouble communicating.

"There's less than nothing left," he said. And that suddenly did seem more serious.

"Are we poor?" I asked.
"We are destitute," he said. I should have known we couldn't just be poor.

"We'll have to cash it all in - the house, the other houses, the cars, the holidays, the pets, the children..."
"Not the children," I said.

"We'll have to tighten our belts," he said.
"And roll up our sleeves," I added but he did not seem to think this was helpful.

"I'll have to offload everything - the shares, the phones, the watches, the phablet..."
"Okay stop," I said. I got the gist and I liked him better when he was positive.

"You have me," I said.
He laughed. "You don't own people."
This was news to me.

"Well you have this," I said and held the penny out.

He took it from me. He sat down on the floor. He rolled it on the ground. He polished it between his index finger and thumb. He tapped it against his lip and then his teeth. He flipped it in the air. It came up heads.

"Okay," he said, getting up, "I know what to do now."

Wayne Sleeth
You can find Wayne's Small World Future tucked into the Little Library in Gibbon's Rent at #unsettledgallery No.6. If you can find it then you can take it home, or perhaps you will leave it for someone else to discover.

In his mature work since moving to the Lorraine region of France in 2001, Wayne Sleeth reiterates and re-explores the source and schema of his more formative sensations; the big skies above the flat lands of both the Lincolnshire coast of his father and the polders of maternal Flanders, where he also spent his childhood. The Lorraine region for this confirmed European is not only geographically strategic, but offers an echo of that very play of horizontality and verticality where the artist draws freely on “l’espace” as he knows and feels it, as far as the canvas edge…

Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She lives in Twickenham, UK with her rather charming family. She has published two chapbooks Dementia (2015) and recently School Run (2017).

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