FP100: No. 91

Public totem 'pile'
Public totem 'pile'

Public totem ‘pile’

Is it art, or a pile of junk? That’s a question that’s been posed at many a work from celebrated artists.

But there is no doubt this is the latter – a stack of driftwood and beach debris.

But what makes this just that little bit different is that there is no individual artist, no reason for it, no message behind it and it is constantly changing.

Set back off the sands on the stretch from Largo to Shell Bay, this pile has been standing for years now, created, shaped and added to by visitors to the beach and those hiking the coastal path.

It is this durability and its constant evolving that lands it a place in this list.

As to why folk feel the need to haul something else into the pile, or haul something away, is puzzling.

While the majority would dismiss any notion of this being art, there is no denying it has now become a landmark.

And for many a passer-by there’s a fascination in checking it out to see what’s different or what has changed.

That in itself means it has more pulling power than many a formal work and it is interesting to see how much longer it lasts... and what its next shape will be.