Thursday 7 February 2019

Eskild Beck - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Eskild Beck - Epping Forest
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Eskild Beck / Words -  Natalie Low

In the morning, when you leave the room in the dark before me, I reach over and feel inside the space you have left behind in the sheets.  It’s like the cast of a still-warm person from Pompeii. I marvel at the series of steps that have led you to live here with me.

In the bathroom, the toothpaste is leaning over in the cup, clutching its stomach like it’s been punched, and your toothbrush is minty and damp.  The mirror is misted over and you have scrubbed out a space so you can see yourself. I like to place my reflection where yours would have been.

Your plate is by the sink, sprinkled with crumbs that fell from your mouth.  Your glass has a millimetre of liquid left in the bottom. If I was a detective, I could itemise exactly what you had eaten and drunk today.  

There are other signs of our skirmishes: closing the windows that you have opened; opening the curtains that you have drawn; lid up, lid down; tidying up your mess.  I like to track your small trail around our home and through my life. I like the physical evidence that you are here.

Eskild Beck
Epping Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, bordering London and Essex and is an Ancient Woodland, one of the few left in London. The sculptor Jacob Epstein lived on the edge of the Forest. Nowadays the Forest is used by dog walkers, mountain bikers, horse and pony riders and picnicking friends and families as well as footballers, bird watchers and runners. I like to imagine all the lovers who might have left their own love tokens in the forest over the centuries. The Forest has also had its share of Bad Pennies reaching up to the present day.
Take a walk through the Forest and see if you can find a Love Token or a Bad Penny.

Eskild Beck is an internationally respected artist, his imagined world drawings have been enjoyed by art lovers around the world. His work has an ethereal quality that often transcends the physicality of this world. Eskild lives in Aabenraa, Denmark and last year hosted the Small World Futures exhibition in a gallery in the centre of the town. He has been exhibiting with CollectConnect since Freezchester in July 2010.

Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She also appears in this exhibition as an artist/maker.

Alban was recently interviewed about Love Tokens and Bad Pennies for the Talking Walking podcast by Andrew Stuck, the founding director of the Museum of Walking and Rethinking Cities. Listen here -

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at

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