Category Archives: sculptures in progress

Sculptures blast a hole in the spacetime continuum

I’ve had a tiger by the tail, trying to get to the point of actually doing this Peter Pan sculpture. I agonised over the question whether it will be worth the space and time it takes up. Sculptures can’t be filed away in 2-D like a canvas. They are 3-D, in your face, have weight and breadth and depth. They are an expensive embarrassment if bad, a logistical problem and a sales problem even if good. And, as my own responses in Melbourne recently tell me only too clearly, even a ‘good’ sculpture can leave the viewer quite unmoved. A sculpture needs to be remarkable, 3-D startling, arresting, relating to us in the 3-D world they inhabit. I’d like mine to be climbable, playable with, at least for children. I’d like dynamism, moving parts perhaps, using water in some way perhaps. Or wind, or fire. Fountains, firepits, pizza ovens, play platforms, rideable, climbable, slide-downable, adorable – something! Plus dramatic, rousing, aspirational… haunting…

So hard has this been for me to fit into my weary already-overstuffed world of mainly social shoulds and maybes and onedays, that I found myself last week migrainey – something I had almost disappeared from my repertoire of responses.

And yesterday watching some Youtube videos by artists, I suddenly got the novel idea of going right back to basics – being me, the artist/thinker/dreamer/mystic, and just doing creations by myself, for myself as self-mentor, self critic, and self-muse (without excluding the possibility that if I actually do this, some ideal mentors, critics and muses might actually appear and help me in my quest! But I’m not holding up anything any more waiting for these ideal Godots… after all, I’m lucky enough to still have a wife who loves me enough, and now knows me well enough, to not try and stop me from the mad path of art, and a brother likewise, who from time to time gets inspired enough with one of my ideas to offer me some money to follow the mad hare a bit further down the rabbithole…). So I’m trying to idea out – Dreamspace as the Peter Harris gallery and studio and workshop.

The great thing now is to not follow too many trails at once, and starve like that donkey (not Balaam’s ass but… Aesop’s? No, Wikipedia says it was Jean Buridan’s, a deterministic philosopher in the 14th Century) between not just two but multiple piles of hay… There are too many Peter Harrises, all saying, ‘Be me!’ I must make a round table for us all, sit us down, and come to a consensus… a priority list. We only have one body to inhabit… We are pretty sure though that we should ‘dig our own treasure pit’, stop trying to also open up others’ pits, to teach them, inspire them, enlighten them, at least not directly as a teacher. If others are inspired or taught by what I produce, paint, scupt, or write, good; if not, never mind. I will have made a statement, put my message and last testament in a nice green bottle of art and cast it upon the human sea. That will feel good.

Watch this space for an actual sculpture – or two! I will scale up the simplest model I made first, then the more complex one several like best. Who knows, it might just pay the rent this month, and next month who knows what doors it might just blast open?

2 Comments

Filed under art, artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, being an artist, sculptures in progress, theory of art

Art and babies: epicentres of disruption

Hi friends who may still be following here! I’ve been away in http://www.dreamspace.nz the gallery and workshops in Gisborne…and http://www.dreamhaven.nz… and the Facebook colonisations of these… I’ve been doing some sculpture ..a commission for the Captain Cook memorial…giant ferrocement gourds..hue in Maori. Now inspired by a dream and my brother’s offer of a donation, I’m doing a statue of a Peter pan figure from our epic Apples of Aeden, Quickblade.

So an artwork begins…And there’s where the DISRUPTION starts. All big art projects blast a hole in the space-time-causality continuum around them – family, jobs, timetables, miscellaneous duties… they push aside lesser values to assert their right to exist. Just like babies – only these babies are more suspect, dubious arrivals into the status quo that surrounds them. And the artist, as mother, is questioned, found guilty of wanton disregard for the careful hierarchy of values that makes up respectable life. Money, or the lack of it, is usually brought up as exhibit A for the prosecution. Irresponsible procreation with no visible means of support is the verdict.

And yet, there it is: the the mother has given birth to this new thing, this awkward artefact to be fitted into their universe. Later, if it is well accepted, the judges will pay belated respects to the artist…perhaps erect a monument in his memory.

Such is normally the outward path of the ser

ious artist. Only the rich inner life of creation of a beloved child, sometimes with the help of friend muse or grandchild – as here! can compensate for the uncertainty, the rejection and criticism, the poverty..

Happily, every now and then he receives a commission that pays well…usually a ‘safe’ project such as these hue. But safe projects do provide respite for the plotting and gestation of more daring works. 🙂 That’s about where I’m at right now. A good space to be in, however insecure.

1 Comment

Filed under art, artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, being a grandfather, Dreamspace Gallery, John Harris, sculptures in progress

When Zarathustra was sixty years old, when Christmas came he said to his soul…

…there have been fewer christmas cards than ever this year – sent or received. Hm.. Is this part of a general overwhelm leading to apathy, or is it part of being sixty and a bit washed up? Must reread Tofler’s ‘Future Shock’… Is it finally upon us, but everyone is too busy/jaded/overwhelmed with stuff/lack of stuff/money worries and techno-socialmedia angst to notice or bother to comment?

Here at the land by slowing down I am regaining some gumption after the rush and social overwhelm of Christmas. Good old Nature! It’s like coming home after long journey in the desert to find a beloved still as fresh and beautiful as ever. Of course, I know, some people find it in people. I rarely do. They’re too sped up, I’m too sped up, too much in shoulds and should nots and projections. the reflection of the true self is best seen in the stillest water.

After the Bird, I struggled to begin the hobbit cabin I was planning. Angst about money and going to the Bank… physical tiredness and symptoms… approach of Christmas… blame and complaints from certain ones expecting more sooner quicker and better… sigh… But Barry Brailsford sent a greenstone rock for a ‘Mauri stone’ for the Dove boat of the Ark. And I saw a Lady and child in it…and a sperm whale and ship with dolphins and mariners at the bows. So I carved it:

magdalene greenstone back view magdalene greenstone front view

The Magdalene sailing to France…Got a numb thumb for a week from pressing with the vibrating dremel handpiece… needs padding in it! I will make a mould of this one too…

Now I’m doing a Lady in an egg (a big ‘gempod’ with two halves joined by magnets. See www.magnut.co). Finishing needed. On the outside I think there could be a masculine image – the Lady is within. The Anima. Or, it could be the exterior face of a woman – the Magdalene being her real self within… sailing into the West and a new life.

inside of Lady gempod 2 1 15

Now I’m casting some of the new gempods for jewellery. How hard it has been to keep up the conviction and optimism to develop these and make them easy to cast! Jewellery for me is a sideline, well down on Maslow’s pyramid, a market bauble really. Sacred artefacts yes, but anyone could do them. What am I leaving undone while I do these? Flowshare, the books… But I know these will sell. Straight off, unlike  the higher things. In between is the sculpture. Higher but correspondingly less sure to sell. And dollar pressure continues. Ah, life! I am over-rich in good, little, imperfect unfinished things. Time for new resolutions, I suppose…

Leave a comment

Filed under artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, musings by the wizard, sculptures in progress

Throwing down the gauntlet

In the course of a long life there comes a time when a lot of stuff at last, belatedly, decisively falls away no matter how much we try to keep it. Then we think, ‘well that wasn’t so bad after all…I feel freer.’ But what remains is not necessarily a free person. No, the worst stuff clings like a second skin, a suffocating armour. For me it has been mostly the glove or gauntlet – the apologetic sidetracking prevaricating moderating mediator between my creative powers and a world I have always expected to reject what my unfettered hand would create. Now I plan to throw down that silver glove which was meant to armour me all these years against the slings and arrows of the ordinary world and ordinary people, the bourgeoisie, that is, the sheepish, judgmental hordes who follow the safest leaders of the spirit of the age. They didn’t like my watered-down offerings anyway. Or me.

Now, with Nietzsche, as a creative spirit unbound from the world, inured, made indifferent to rejection by long years of the world’s indifference, I have come down to a simple fear-free, joyful will to ‘press my hand upon millennia as upon wax.’ Direct. Honest. No gauntlet to soften or simplify or protect me from the true contact with whatever rock I intend to mould. Perhaps now, at sixty, I have become an artist. As the Mask says, ‘Somebody, stop me!’ 🙂

So, after the nice dove, what? Watch this space! Something to rise up heroic, noble, uncompromisingly my creation, perhaps in the courtyard behind the head of the dove. Of course, the dove for me is of Aphrodite and represents passion, eros, desire to create. That it returns to the Ark is proof that the Ark is an Archetype of new creation, out of the floods of loss and death, to a new day. It comes to rest on a craggy mountain, and the rainbow appears – a rainbow of unlimited possibility as the voyagers come down from the mountain to inhabit the new world…

Leave a comment

Filed under musings by the wizard, sculptures in progress

The Dove sleeps in the sand

Well actually she is vigilant. Times are troubled. It was good to get the white limelock sealer on and paint the eyes and beak, see her come alive… And to sit inside her head and rest awhile. And to carve the spiral and bird and sunflower at the ends of the wall. Also the sign under her beak – ferrocement works well for signs too – won’t rot, is cheaper than signboard and very strong…

Names that have been mooted to go on the sign: The Flying Ark; Dove’s Rest, Be Here Now…

20141108_180609 20141108_181220 20141108_181225 20141108_184225 20141108_192926 20141108_193717 20141108_200156

The archetypal power of the dove and ark are there, but they are non-threatening and friendly, and lots of people – even locals! – have approved by thumbs up or toots as they passed, or by actually stopping. A little boy and his dad yesterday had a look in the head too, and the boy climbed up and heard the echo..

now, of course, the Ark needs repainted. Maybe white with green or blue trim… Then the front rooms to be converted to retail space for Jenny’s fashion and my jewellery, and maybe other things too…

2 Comments

Filed under artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, sculptures in progress, The Story Ark

Vitruvian pair carved

It hasn’t been a month?! it has. I have been nup to more than just carving this, but it did take quite a long time. I ended up making in two pieces, and the boat rocks if on a smooth surface… It’s a kind of meditation on the Balance now…

stretched vitruvians 19 07 13 copy

 

This is a picture of the wax model only. It’s actually blue wax, but in photoshop I found the inverted image looked quite like bronze. It’s more detailed than it looks here too. The vitruvian circle has the words Love Beauty Truth Freedom engraved on the underside in reverse so it acts as a stamp. Ship is hollow so small items can be put in it. The little figure in the bows represents the pharithi, the little folk who are sailing from Aeden seeking Avalon, in Volume IV of the Apples of Aeden. (Now available as ebook, first edition/draft, at smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320474 The couple represents Korman and the Lady, with korman holding the Heartstone aloft.

 

Yet to be cast in bronze, and a mould made for more castings. At about 100mm by 110 it’s bigger than the jewellery pieces, and the cost quoted by the jewellery castings place sent me scurrying back home to ‘think about it.’ I found another foundry – a one man band and he estimated a lower price, so I will trundle down to south auckland when i can and meet the man at his little foundry (Flux Studio). He can do bigger pieces too… hmm. Though I dont like the idea of all that copper etc just sitting in an artwork. It’s liable to be melted down one day for cannon, like some renaissance bronzes were… and countless aztec gold and silver artworks of course.

So, if you find yourself coveting a bronze of the vitruvian Pair for your desk or bedside, email me, pay a modest sum, to be sorted,  and I can get the mould. Ok, first one i will do for NZ$149/US $119 plus postage…  After that depending on cost to get cast, probably US$279

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Apples of Aeden, sculptures in progress, the Balance, the epic

Vitruvian Human

This may be a more comfortable name for them – wo-man,  sheman etc are all perhaps a bit odd or biased one way or another… So, here they are photoshopped to look like… well, like the vision in my mind, more or less… The sculpture won’t have the glow, unless at night…

sheman vitruvian drawing facing inward SYMMETRICAL 19 06 13 copy

 

The little people on the woman are (from volume iv of the Apples of Aeden) the refugee fairies of Aeden, who get taken on the ship to eastern lands, seeking Avalon.  see https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320474

The woman spreads her arms to the horizon, loving all the earth, while the man reaches up and makes contact with heaven, in the form of the diamond World, and the heartstone which ascended.

Leave a comment

Filed under artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, sculptures in progress, the Balance, the epic