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|They looked beautiful,
startlingly white among the darker pieces
of beach rock, stone and detritus...
I thought we were bringing attention
to the beauty of the beach
and challenging the imagination
and observation skills of
those who will find them.
- Susan Gibson
|I placed the shells at Dominion Beach, in Cape Breton.
Dominion lies between Glace Bay and New Waterford if you need to catch your bearings.
It's the same place that made the national news because their High School started to sink into an old mine.
My nephews who were visiting from Ontario helped me disperse some shells.
They were perplexed at the idea that I would cast these pretty pieces away and keep none.
The shells looked magical as they set into the coal sprinkled sand and were washed over by the surf.
In April of 02 I visited the island of Mallorca off of the east coast of Spain.
I had sent shells to my husband while he was doing a military tour in the Persian Gulf. I had hoped
he could have placed them on a beach during a shore visit to the UAE but there were none.
He met up with me in Mallorca so I spread them there. The Mediterranean would have to do.
While there, we went on one of those tour boat trips, from the water you could see a lot
of tide pools at the shoreline but the boat never stopped. One dark night, myself and two other military
wives walked up the lane by our hotel; we were looking for someplace where we could reach the waterline
to see if we could find the pools. We found a path, a really creepy path between two lovely villas.
I'm pretty sure we were trespassing but it was good fun in the name of art.
It was pitch black down there but my camera flash picked it up. The pools are carved
from thousands of years of ebbs and flows on coral. Rough and crusty but beautiful.
I also placed a few on the beach at Magaluf. It was interesting to reflect on the possibilities
of these shells slipping between the toes of thousands of tourists... maybe?
Now these shiny shells take their place amidst luxury...
for as long as they last.
– Michelle Anstey
|I took some of the shells with me to Hawaii
and placed them on the Mauna Kea beach on the
Big Island. They looked very pretty with white
sand and a piece of white coral. My Japanese
friend Sanae from Maui came to see me on the
Big Island and we spent one afternoon chatting
on one of those 'perfect beaches'. Just before
we left there, we laid out the shells around the
coral bit and waited for a while for the waves
to come and wash them away. Those shells
melted into the beach as if they belong there.
I didn't think about the future of the shells.
They were there quite content as we were.
They were an ephemeral trace of us being
there that afternoon.
|Dora had a pack of shells which she passed on to me two years ago.
We scattered the shells at our property in Hadashville, Manitoba on the Whitemouth River.
It was early December, but it was quite mild so the river was still open in places.
It was magical, the white shells like dust disappeared against the bright prairie sky as they left our hands before they were taken by the snow.
My partner was beautifully round with our daughter 7 months in utero.
The river bank was the site of lot of ritual that year with blessings and full moon bathings
so we were very excited to "alluviate" there as well.
The Whitemouth River runs very fast and shallow with clear cold brownish red water.
We swim in it, and paddle on it and pray to it and watch the horizon disappear as the reflection of the stars come up on a new moon night.
We were five women, Erika MacPherson and Jacki Hagel (with Eva in utero), with friends Jenny,
Danielle and Sue plus of course lots of dogs, maybe 6 that day.
– Erika MacPherson
|On a lovely evening
under the flying sky,
I cast the shells by small handfuls,
like seeding grass or grain.
They fell amongst
the oystershells and barnacles
as if this was where
they had intended to be
from the beginning.
– Ken Fairbrother