form focus: 2014
Sculpting the body of a hummingbird, in reference to ‘freedom of spirit’, I aim to portray a traumatic event by positioning the bird in a humanized foetal position (Botton, 2013; Rowland, 1978). Magi-clay offers soft fluid forms that shy away from brittle symbols of death, critical to a positive process of self renewal (Botton, 2013). To portray a ‘thickening of skin’, scales and fur-tuft features obscure bird form whilst hinting at varying creature strengths and concepts of the mythical bunyip (Dell, 2010; Wagner, 1975).
Can Paper-Magiclay enhance
the sense of renewal and an acceptance of change
within a sculpted 'humyip'?
Drawn to the sensory elements of Magi-clay, the synthetic quality is soft to touch, leaves minimal residue, holds form easily and appears much like white icing.
The material’s ability to stick to itself from the moment of touch leaves no room for change and demands acceptance. Thus, an acceptance and appreciation of the sculpted hummingbird as it evolves into a ‘humyip'.
Magiclay has sparked various readings from viewers. It can provide a swollen/full appearance or intriguingly, when layered with thin large pieces, present a deflated quality. The significance of the latter has been best described, by my supervisor John Vella, as ‘almost like a well loved teddy bear’ after years of hugs and squeezes.
If I were to make larger sculptures then I would like to enhance a sense of 'hope' through abstract audio. This could include overlaying play of rhythmic breathing, a musical patchwork of my nervous hum and a whispered riddle (Kilpatrick, 2008; Stefanova, 2007).
Alternatively, smaller proportions could allow intimacy and encourage illusive qualities of an 'edible' creature.
Only time will tell...
Botton, A. A., J. (2013). Art as Therapy. New York: Phaidon.
Dell, C. (2010). Mosters: a bestiary of the bizarre. London: Thames & Hudson.
Kilpatrick, E. (2008). Into the Woods: retelling the wartime fairytales of Maurice Ravel. The Musical Times, Spring(149), 52-66.
Rowland, B. (1978). Birds with Human Souls: a guide to bird symbolism. USA: The University of Tennessee Press.