Saturday, April 9, 2011
Study for The Archer ~
steel, plaster, marble, graphite ~ 48" tall
Some dreams form gradually, over a long period of time, without the slightest awareness of the thing being formed, or even that the formation of the objects worked on will turn out to be steps to a destination. Archery was a dream of my childhood, one among many. I made bows and arrows - the materials to make them were at hand - trees, sinew, flint, feathers - not so much out of a need, or desire, to hunt, or even to have an accurate aim. Perhaps it was about flight.
When I began making sculpture for my neighbor, the first piece seemed like the simplest solution to a request - "Can you make something using these big rocks?" One was flat, hence a dolmen, and hence oriented (by some belief) to the earth and sky, emergence and descent, sun, moon, stars. One was long, fish-like, by a pond, and the simple thing was to stand it up, becoming another sort of sign of passage - inevitably phallic, with a carved on spiral that turned out to be a recording of a love letter, if one only had a needle to set in the groove.
The next piece came from a request for a stone egg. Then 3 cubes of sandstone, scribed with curls and diagonals - the flowing vortex of wind, water, and flames, lines straightened by the will to signify precision. Then came the rabbits.
My neighbor happened to see a painting of rabbits that appealed to him, and showed me an image of it. I raised a number of orphaned wild rabbits in my zoo-keeping youth, and absorbed my mother's stories of the trickster rabbit, so I had my own images to draw from. I did, and they fit, leading to a series of rabbit sculptures, drawings and paintings.
Anyone who loves Japanese and Chinese painting, as I do, knows that the natural companion of rabbits is the Moon. One doesn't even have to know the Chinese myth of Houli the Archer, or the Greek Artemis, to guess that the missing piece in the collection is an Archer.
Tomb -Womb - Phallus - Egg - Rabbits- Moon - Archer ~ Happy Spring!