As I work on being more ecologically responsible, I find it occasionally annoying or inconvenient to do the “right” thing, e.g., recycling and conserving. Often, I’d much rather take the easy road and throw it all away, without having to think about it. However, because it has become alarmingly evident that our future depends on the choices we make today, I endeavor instead to preserve and honor nature’s balance and other things of beauty. This is not my new creed; it is just what I’m working on these days.
This summer’s show, “Something Green,” is a result of these thoughts and concerns. The pieces of furniture and art in this show are fun, creative, intelligent, and inspirational. The show takes a lighthearted look at the use of reclaimed materials. At the same time, the show reflects my deep regard for the consequences of our actions by using insight and knowledge from the past. We can create a present and a future of which to be proud by committing ourselves in part, to using more recycled materials, renewable resources and by not repeating past mistakes.
A new container shipment is arriving with over twenty new relief carvings from “The Studio” by David Alan. In addition, we acquired new fantasy creations by folk-artist Lindu and hundreds of other new pieces of furniture and art. These exciting new works are now displayed throughout David Alan Collection.
Please join us for our summer party and show opening on August 5th from 6:00 to 9:00PM. We promise an evening of high spirits, good food and drink, live music, and a show that highlights our newest discoveries in the world of “green.”
To a healthy, happy and satisfying life,
Reclaimed • Recycled • Remarkable!
TO OUR OPENING NIGHT PARTY!
August 5th, 2010 6:00PM to 9:00PM
Exhibition Runs August 5th to September 5th, 2010
Green means many things to many people. To us it means exciting new directions for David Alan Collection. This show is our opportunity to present to you our latest discoveries. There are tables, chairs, buffets, console tables, component cabinets and art made from old warehouse beams and floors, piers, houses, and telephone poles, all retaining the flavor, color and patina of the original material.
The furniture made from decommissioned wooden boats is spectacular. Layers of paint show through on each piece revealing the history of the wood in our stunning new designs. Tables built with traditional joinery hint at stories we can only imagine. The lives of the boats and those who captained and crewed them are present in each piece.
A hundred colors blend to make headboards, coffee tables, and wall art. We know your imagination will be captured as ours is. Even the new sculptures by Lindu are all made of recycled materials. It’s fun and irresistible!
The most exciting discovery at David Alan Collection this year was finding furniture and art made from reclaimed boatwood. Wooden boats from Java and Bali which are no longer seaworthy, have been purchased and are now being disassembled and reused in surprising new ways. Some of these boats were carved from a single log and others were built from planks. All were painted and repainted over and over through the decades, usually with a change of color. These boats were cared for, loved, and helped provide livelihoods for many people, as son, grandson and great grandson inherited the family business. These aging icons of a fishing culture that still thrives in Indonesia are being given a second life.
We've taken a great idea and made it our own. The results are stunning, whether buying whole boats and designing the pieces of furniture or sorting through piles of chipped and faded boat parts for the colors and woods we want to use for our projects. It's exhilarating, exhausting, and always satisfying. The wood that is retrieved is much more difficult to work with than new lumber, but it's rewarding to save a bit of history and create colorful, contemporary furniture and art.
Wayan Balik has been my driver in Bali for many years. I recently learned what the Balik in Wayan Balik means. Roughly it’s either, “second time around,” or, “turn around again.” My driver’s name is “turn around again.” It gives one pause. In any case, our friendship has grown over time, along with his English and driving skills. I can always tell if he is thinking about our conversation instead of his usual goofing and laughing. He typically slows to half-speed, then with extreme thinking, he simply stops.
Wayan is my living, laughing Buddha. He’s my model of non-attached joy. He seems to live in an inner world where all humans are strange, funny creatures to whom very funny things happen all the time.
One day he was late to pick me up in the morning, a rare occurrence. When we were back on the road, he said, “My house and my village flooded and we had to push stranded cars off the road”.
Instead of telling me with grave concern, he told me as if he were living inside a Three Stooges movie, laughing with the audience.
Every mishap, misunderstanding, and stupid motorist is grist for the happy-mill. There is always compassion mixed in with the laughter and fun. If I didn’t work so intently while in Bali, he and I could easily drive around talking and laughing at humans doing funny human things. His laughter is never at someone. He could often laugh at me, but he patiently waits until I can laugh with him, and it usually doesn’t take long. I love and treasure him.
In January, I decided I wanted to make hundreds of grasshoppers out of palm leaves for our “Something Green” show. I showed a photo to Wayan and he gave it to a man from his village who makes grasshoppers. The next day I was handed a wonderful palm leaf grasshopper. Over the next ten days we made five new prototypes, each progressively improved, until I had the ultimate grasshopper. During this process, we had the following conversation:
Wayan: “This coconut leaf is not good. Lasts only one month.”
Wayan: “Yes, Pak David, this other palm leaf long lasting.”
David: “How long?”
Wayan: “Maybe forever.”
David: (I pause) “Forever?”
Wayan: (Long pause, deep thought) “Yes, forever… maybe 10 years.” (Straight face)
We looked at each other and exploded with laughter.
Last September, in the midst of an intense work schedule of forty straight, 13-hour days, Wayan and I were driving to the warehouse again to work with the carvers. I turned to Wayan and very seriously said, “Wayan, what is the meaning of Life?” We slowed to a crawl as he looked deeply into his life. After two or three minutes he stopped the car, and with a look of concentrated innocence simply said, “I forgot.” “Oh,” I said, feigning disappointment. But I couldn’t stop a smile from touching the corners of my mouth and we looked at each other for a moment and laughed uproariously. For me, much wisdom was spoken in just two words. I will always remember “I forgot” and “forever… maybe 10 years.” My favorite saying has become: “The truth will make you laugh.”
Having watched his English improve over the years, we’ve decided to teach Wayan some idioms that he can use on other English speakers to impress them. Mainly, it’s an opportunity to make stuff up to laugh about. He has now added to his repertoire, “slept like a log,” “it’s raining cats and dogs,” and “kicking tires.”
One last story: Justin and I were asking Wayan about people who are scavengers. We inquired, “What is ok to scavenge and what’s not ok to take? Where’s the line?” He could not say where the line is between scavenging and stealing, but to avoid confusion, his village recently put up signs which say “No scavengers.” Knowing we were on to something good, we pushed him again for an answer. He slowed down (a good sign) and said very clearly, “Scavenging and stealing are two separate jobs, sometimes same person.”