Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Moving swiftly on from the snail house

My daughter’s snail house was such a hit that my friend Wicked Mick helped his daughter make one too. And when an art-exhibit opportunity came up in our village that encompassed a box that was, after all, more or less the dimensions of the snail house, my daughter thought she’d like to reproduce it for a wider audience.

But things happened between the planning and execution stages. There was, firstly, a dream: one that, shared during a brisk walk with the dogs, became the inspiration for a new box project – a bed. A populated bed.

Then, the things that crept into – that populated – the bed were made of silver foil, and so ‘The Shining’ suggested itself as a topic.

This bed was discussed and planning done, and even some execution, but then more inspiration came (at a very late date; indeed, well past the deadline) from an unexpected source: Johann, grumpy from an afternoon nap, needing some sort of diversion. If he weren’t 43 years old, I would have given him a Farley’s rusk and put him in his bouncy chair. My daughter, who’s had long experience with a baby brother, knew what was needed.

‘I’m making this bed,’ she said, plonking it down on the kitchen counter next to Johann’s lower jaw, ‘and I need to populate it.’

This is what emerged. It might not cut the mustard as an artwork, but we like it.

Here’s what we have in ‘Populated: The Shining’: An alien woman in a luxurious bed, clutching a teddy and holding a lollipop; a worm; a cat; a dog; a notebook; a laptop; a die; a bottle of wine and a glass; a blancmange with a spoon; a rose in a vase; and (the ‘shinings’) a scary monster with red eyes and a forked tongue and an octopus-like creature emerging from under the duvet, having snagged one extremely alarmed teddy, reaching out a silvery tendril to get the other.

* Click on the pictures for better views.

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