All art is ephemeral. Nothing that human beings create lasts forever. Time marches on and with each passing year every human artefact deteriorates until ultimately it will be gone. This is true of The Parthenon , true of Stonehenge, true of ancient aboriginal images under rock ledges deep in Australia's hinterland, true of Sandro Botticelli's "Portrait of a Young Man" and true of all of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World. It is just a question of time.
In 1999, a young sculptor called Jason Thomson was commissioned to carve a dead tree in one of our local parks. He called his piece "Beasts of Brincliffe" and it was a labour of love. Several animals were carved into it including a fox and a hare but the artefact was dominated by a barn owl with outspread wings.
In the past twenty years I have photographed it on a number of occasions - observing its gradual deterioration. But this afternoon I concluded that it has reached a point where new onlookers would hardly believe that it was ever a sculpture. It has become little more than a rotten stump. In the panoply of human history, twenty one years is not long for the lifespan of a sculpture - even though it was admittedly wooden.
Now it is just food for woodlice and insect larvae, a place for birds to rest briefly - surveying the park that surrounds them. The Art is gone and only the memory remains.