In the beginning was the bump. I went to my personal diary for ideas. I carry my little green book everywhere and try to write any interesting (to me) thoughts that shoot, stagger, fall, rest, linger or malinger inside my head. Most of my notes make sense only to me. I do find this practice useful for recording fleeting ideas before they disappear forever. Anyway…… I came across some words I had jotted down a year ago while reading Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes. Benison (a spoken blessing), apogee (point in an orbit most distant from the center), oneiric (pertaining to dreams), porcini (an edible mushroom).
My mind kept drifting over apogee, benison, and porcini, as I physically drifted around the classroom browsing for materials.
I was first drawn to the cardboard tubes so I cut one into sections and arranged them into a circle on the table. A half-formed idea developed into a drawing.
Looking around some more I selected some beautiful gold cloth and a sheet of corrugated packing material. By the end of class on Thursday I had a pretty clear mental picture of my sculpture to be. Shaped like a bowl and filled with the circular shapes resting on the elegant, gold fabric, I envisioned something simple and beautiful.
“The Process Changes” or “Another Bend in the Road”
Over the course of the rest of the day and into Friday, my life took an unexpected turn. Feeling overwhelmed and heartbroken, going through the motions of running errands while trying to wrap my mind around events from the week, I found myself in a dollar store holding a cellophane bag of googly eyes and thinking “look! a bag of me! “. I also grabbed a bag of pipe cleaners in spring colors that reminded me of childhood. Back in class on Tuesday I played around with the idea of loss of control.
Life is messy. Without a doubt. Any order achieved is not easily preserved. Just when I think my ducks are in row the seasons change and off they go headed south for the winter. No matter how carefully I protect the fragile order of things it often blows up in my face. Leaving me, well, all googly-eyed and lost.
Although still enchanted with the circular shapes from the original plan, I was not happy with the weight of the cardboard tubes. They felt too rigid and the thickness of the cardboard was distracting. Instead, I used the paper I had peeled off of the corrugated packing material and rolled sections up into delicate cylinders.
Repeating my process from the maquette, I “corralled” them with a piece of the corrugated packing material. I liked the contrast between the smooth cylinders and the corrugated paper. It repeats the shapes and compliments them at the same time. The appearance is ordered, grouped, neat. The material itself is used for packing and protecting fragile items.
The idea of gluing the eyes on the ends of the pipe cleaners, after twisting them into springs, came to me in the store. Once I had created cylinders it was logical to have the eyes springing out, exploding into a frenzy. This is what happens when the lid comes off. When the carefully constructed life meets reality.
Life is boing.
I shaped the pipe cleaners into cork screws by twisting them around a drawing pencil.
Sometime during this process I realized how representative this was of the role art has played in my life. With art at the center of my life, whenever things did go boing, I have always had my creativity as a source of comfort and distraction.
“The Carefully Constructed Life”
Taking photos allowed me to see this piece from a different perspective. The creatures seem to have a life of their own.
As does the shadow……
Coming soon…. Tales of the Creature!