I just about have this piece complete. It’s appeared in many previous posts as a work in progress. I took it outside today to see if there was enough breeze to turn the whirligig, but there wasn’t. Too bad.
It’s inspired by the story of the prodigal in Luke 15:11-32. There are two golden babies on it for the two brothers in the story. One spins endlessly from beneath the whirligig and the other is suspended from the mixer beater and gets yanked around as the whirligig spins. There’s a lot of excess and a lot of joy in finding the lost (as in: finding beauty in trash).
If you’re wondering what it’s made out of, the answer is a lot of stuff I found. The only thing I actually purchased for the piece was glitter. Other materials are: rusty bed springs, a coat hanger, pop/beer cans, twist ties, shower curtain rings, Mardi Gras babies, old beads, old jewelry, gold leaf (yes, it came to me second hand), cardboard, sewing machine bobbins, a beater I found in the street, half an ornament I found in the street, a ballerina cake decoration (OK, so I bought that years ago at a junk store with the intention of using it for art), an old needle case, odds and ends off some Christmas crackers, fabric leftover from something else, a star from a stuffed animal, a Barbie leg, and wire.
Here’s a post in honor of the Super Bowl…and my efforts to resolve the lower portion of this sculpture. I’ve got a couple deadlines coming up, so I’m committed to getting a good amount of art done today.
Working on a professional development grant this morning means plenty of thumbing through things on the internet to take a break from writing. My reward for finishing that last paragraph? Post something!
Here we have the art material that is now filtering itself all through my house. It’s hard to encrust wire with glitter and not make a mess.
This weekend I’m working on photos of my recent work including this piece called “Little Needs” that I made from an old fur coat, a stuffed animal, old jewelry, gold leaf, and beads. Other than the beads and thread, I didn’t buy any of it–it was all random stuff I found here and there.
People donate all kinds of interesting things to the nonprofit organization I work for. It’s great for the found object artist. I was looking through a donation the other day and opened a container to find a mass of twisted, used twist-ties. All together they looked really interesting and a little (should I admit it) repulsive. Now they’re destined for art.
This is the piece I’m working on right now. My dilemma is that I’m not sure I can exhibit it anywhere because it’s so fragile and it begs to be touched at the same time. The little copper wire in the center of this photo is a big part of the problem. The piece is a whirligig and you can blow on it to get it to rotate. I’d wanted the main whirligig to drive some other motion on the piece and after a lot of trial and error I got this little wire to successfully move a gilded electric mixer beater. The connection is tenuous, and if anyone prods it in the wrong way it will bend or break.
It’s a problem I run into on a lot of my art. I’ve got all kinds of stuff on the surface. It asks you to touch and explore. It’s playful. Approachable. Modeled on a toy but very much not something to play with. I want the viewer to interact with it, but not by touch.
I’m not sure what the solution will be.