Saturday, 18 December 2010

6. Hummingbird, 70"

This sculpture is about scale, texture, form, disappearance and emergence; and again, a commentary on the position that animals are faced with based upon human intervention and occupation. The hummingbird is feeding from industrial steel, cut off from the implied vegetation on the opposite side of the plate. And, it works for me artistically because visually the smooth surface of the steel gives a background to the intricacies of the carved figure of the hummingbird. The surrounding verticality of the pine trees was the first consideration of this piece, and my desire to introduce a steel sculptural element into this setting drove me to choose this particular shape. Previously this length of steel had been designated for many other sculptures and ideas. I knew that the torchwork on the plate would provide a slight bend to the steel, and this bend was left to materialize before the sculpture was brought upright. The torchwork, although still practice for 'bernini', was a way to mirror the surrounding vegetation so that, depending upon the position of the viewer, the sculpture occasionally disappears into the background, and almost completely disappears from the side view. The choice of the hummingbird was a long consideration. I've done many previously in their environment when living in the West Indies. I noticed one day while waiting for a bus that when a hummingbird is in flight the wings disappear, and the form of the body was perfect for a static sculpture with implied movement. However, there are no hummingbirds in Spain. I had decided that this was all the more reason to BRING one to Spain and then, upon further research found this, perfect for the house of a doctor:

"When Spanish explorers first encountered hummingbirds, they called them joyas voladoras: "flying jewels." The hummingbird was revered as a sacred healer, a guardian of plants, the spirit, and those who needed healing or were training as healers themselves."

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