mixed media assemblage - vintage china elephant, vintage metal ruler, vintage photo, vintage optical lense, cut-up encyclopedia text, vintage book pages, silk thread, tissue paper, paper, board, gesso, glue
I can't even remember when I first noticed V's interest in elephant statues, but they're always something he points out when we visit an antique market or the like, and he's written about elephants in his poetry books, too. So, when I spotted this broken china elephant on Etsy, I knew it was something I could afford to buy for V (unlike the others we've seen so far), and I wanted to build a big assemblage around it. Most of my boxes are pretty small, whereas this one felt gigantic at about 33x32x3,5cm (13"x12.6"x1.4").
Once I knew I'd like to pair the elephant with the ruler I decided I'd make a little niche for the elephant and keep everything pretty light and minimalistic. After building the core of the box I basically just kept layering things like gesso and woven strips of book pages and tissue paper and more gesso until I had a surface that was textured without being too busy or colourful. Before each layer I thought it would be the last one but it didn't look right until many layers later. My clear visions really are pretty clear but reaching the goal is always a journey. Before deciding upon the optical lense I tried a whole bunch of other small items I could hang, but it was the most pleasing option being transparent and round and, in theory, functional. The text was built from cut-up excerpts of encyclopedia entries, again, by testing different options around a couple of key phrases. Guess which ones were set from the start?
kaikista omituisuuksista eräät kauneimmat ovat jo sukupuuttoon häviämässä,
jään reuna liikkuu, tähti katoaa näkyvistä
irtonaisina ajelehtivat jäälautat
out of all peculiarities some of the most beautiful ones are already on the brink of extinction,
the edge of ice is moving, a star disappears from sight
auricles. tete a tete,
ice floes freely drifting
I find I end up tweeting most of my work in progress photos and forget all about blogging, since I blog from my laptop and take photos with my ipad, and sometimes I forget to take any in-between-photos and I end up with random sets like today's. So, if you'd like to see what I'm making when I'm making it and not, worst case scenario, weeks later, I recommend following me on Twitter. In general, I'm probably the most antisocial user of social media, but if that's not a problem, Twitter is the place to visit for most recent creations.