Friday, October 30, 2009
Besides wandering the arroyos and hills around Santa Fe, accumulating old rusted and weathered material, I recently found another great place to both find inspiration and gather objects for my sculptures. It is called Habitat For Humanity and they sell used building products. Just about every day there is something different to be found in the bins. I'm spending more and more time there-it's turned into my portable studio or laboratory.
Last week I was looking in the row that sold old electrical lights and discarded wire. It got me thinking about creatures that have distinctive hair...and then I saw this bunch of old white electrical wire. I've never used wire before but it looked so expressive and evocative that I couldn't resist getting it. (I must have been a junk dealer in a past life.)
This creature is part of the group called Creatures of Curiosity. His magnificent tail incorporates my latest find...and next week, well, I've been eying this old steamer trunk.
18.5" x 26" x 9"
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Unicorn horns, mermaid skeletons, stuffed and preserved animals and plants, insects in amber, lenses, and obscure scientific instruments - these were just some of the contents of what were called Cabinets of Curiosity. First assembled in 16th century Europe, these "rooms of wonder" became the earliest museums, where diverse collections of oddities from around the world could be seen in one place. Sumptuous accumulations of unknown and unfamiliar objects were assembled in beautifully constructed cabinets, contained in entire rooms displaying artifacts from floor to ceiling.
I think of my constructed creations as present day artifacts that might have been collected and assembled in a Cabinet of Curiosity. Where they came from and what meanings they hold are still unknown. Indicators and clues as to their origins can be found on each creature - but often the markings, materials and methods of construction can be confusing, asking more questions than giving answers. Studied closely, each creature seems to have similar construction patterns, tattoos and indications of tribal identification.
A rabbit poised to spring, wired together with an assortment of old sticks, rags, rusted metal and found objects, is then mounted on a weathered wooden armature. Another almost mythological beast - part rubber robed rhinoceros and part metal cloaked ant eater - is captured mid-stride, his worn underside streaming a strange accumulation of hanging objects. During his journeys this creature has attracted the various talismans to his belly like metal to magnets. Creatures of my imagination...peering felines, quizzical canines, pondering armadillos, miniature running antelope, crawling lizards and crooked wooden birds, beckon you to follow them into the shadows of my own realm of the curiously outlandish and bizarre.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
14" x 16" x 6"
I've seen pictures of the pangolin in books for years. They are curious creatures, a fish-like animal. They are large and act a little like tree sloths. With all their scales I was attracted to them once I started working with old bike tires.
They are found in parts of Africa and Asia and recently have become endangered. They are hunted both for their meat and their scales, which are thought to have medicinal properties.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
21" x 20" x 9"
This creature, based on a horned lizard, is assembled from both black and white bicycle tires, along with a variety of nails, screws and rusted bolts. Around his neck hangs an old paint brush and underneath his body other objects dangle down. The pedestal is constructed from cabinet handles, a wheel, and found hardware.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
18" x 12" x 6 1/2"
Another creature to be a part of the group installed during SOFA in Chicago in November. This porcupine-like critter's spikes were made from wire that is used to make fences in New Mexico. There are dozens of them sticking out of her body. It was a study in patience to install each one, row after row.
My friend Michelle gave me the base, which originally was used to hold tools for a fire. She works at Habitat for Humanity and is becoming one of my best sources for odds and ends.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sagita & Savii
23" x 20" x 26"
This pair of foxes is part of the work going to Chicago for my installation called Creatures of Curiosity. I think of this series as artifacts and objects that have been assembled together in one place.
These pieces have been built using an assortment of branches, screws and odds/ends. In person the work has the feeling of contained energy.
The base is crafted from mountain bike tires and metal. I call this style of furniture NUVO Mennonite.