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I was born in an Edwardian semi in Cheltenham Gloucestershire and after a career in Farnborough Hampshire and Malvern Worcestershire I now live in a 60’s upside down bunglehouse in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. I am an elderly, retired, nuclear scientist and avionics engineer, who wanted to create something beautiful, but I am not sure that I have, or in retrospect, if I understand what beautiful means.


Artistically, since I have retired I have tried the arts of sketching buildings, writing poetry, writing short stories, drawing, and now I am trying to elevate the shape of, and my response to, found objects – objet trouve - that are found hidden out in the open in this world.


I have found what an ordinary man finds all around him, what he might have to tidy, ‘clear up’ or just ignore. But I have seen something in it and to change the way I see it I have added a rich man’s value, gold - a particular mineral that is rare and that other men are prepared to give ‘value’ to. I am not sure if someone else would respond to these in the same way as I did, but then I am a man.


Now I am not sure what ‘beauty’ is. I am not sure whether what I have serendipitously found I have devalued or lifted to be something ‘more beautiful’, something that we would want to look at more than once in our home.


I would value your comments about the beauty, the colour, the shape, and the value. However, as they say “Choosing from a menu - The more there is, the more difficult it is to choose, the fewer to choose from, the easier it is to pick the one you dislike the least.


During lock down while staring at the wall I decided to stare at the garden. It was significantly more interesting, and some things stood out to me. They shouted at me by their shape their colour their incongruity. I wondered what they would be like if they were handmade rather than hand found, and if they were made in a material that had social value rather than natural value. Would they be of value to someone who valued money rather than nature?

Objet trouve or found stuff!

See which you prefer, but remember, when choosing from a menu, te more there is, the more difficult it is to choose. The fewer to choose from, the easier it is to pick the one you dislike the least.

John A C Beattie MSc MInstP CPhys

July 2022

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