'impromptu'


An impromptu action is one that you do without planning or organizing it in advance. Those moments of spontaneity in art making, where the unrehearsed or improvised produces the unforeseen. I have looked at this image on the path to my allotment for some years now, a section of tree, caught in-between two sides of the fence. The rest of the tree body has long since gone, but just this section remains and protrudes through proudly. The gardener has left, whether intentionally or not, a phallus for all to wonder at. A fertility symbol, an object that represents masculinity, on a quiet allotment plot in the middle of Hove. I have photographed it on a few occasion, at different times of the year, in different conditions, and yet it had appeared to have gone unnoticed by others. No one has seen fit to remove it, it just remains erect and ready. Like the origin of the word 'impromptu', ( 17th century, from French, from Latin in promptū in readiness, from promptus (adj) ready) it waits in perpetual readiness. That is until this week.

Someone has decided to make an intervention. The natural wooden penis has now been decorated and encircled with a manufactured painted wooden adornment. I'm unsure if it is a bracelet, or necklace or a babies teething ring! Either way a whole new story can unfold, a different narrative is formed with this spontaneous and deliberately placed addition. It asks all sorts of questions about the phallus now! Where shall we start?

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Andy Ash