Tuesday 21 December 2010

2. The solitary life of snails, 5 x 7 x 28"

I reminded myself early on to make what I see. Winter is a quiet time of year for wildlife but, if one looks closely, there are plenty of dormant snails. A clear drawing of this piece was completed before the sculpture itself. I have been playing with the theme of combining literal representations of animals with industrial steel for some time. For me, it is commentary on the position that animals are faced with. From the world of art,  Bernini's Baldachino, where a multitude of diminutive bees adorn his bronze columns, was my model, and this piece was a warm-up for the 8th piece. In this sculpture the controlled texture from the torch carving (that I gained from 'practice') is applied to one side of the 'outside' of the 'column' and the solitary snail adorns the other side. the interior is left generally untouched except for a slight 'snailtrail' rendered with a quick drag of the arc welder stick and the stippled molten steel that attached itself while working the piece. Architecturally, the angled top of the sculpture is a visual indicator that a staircase rises behind the barbecue next to where it sits. In many ways this was to me the most important piece in the series as it was the sculpture that I contemplated the most, and the one that encapsulated many of the ideas of all the others. Light, texture, form, surface, social commentary, orthogonal vs. non-orthogonal, scale; even issues regarding the security of the pieces were contemplated here. Does it work? Do people want to touch it? Is it independent of its environment? Is the little snail lonely, or resting peacefully? This sculpture aided me to consider these things throughout the entire project. The following picture is one of the last that I took before leaving Spain. It is a snail trail, left on the ground many days after, but near my sculpture. I was awestruck to see that that little snail followed my directions perfectly. (3rd photo from left above)

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