“They said they were leaving and taking the piano from Chapter 16”
Books, paper, wire, glue,
The visual story is drawn from the dramatic relationships of the components in the pieces. The characters are ‘static puppets’, with their moments suspended in time like one frame of a storyboard, or actors on a tiny toy theatre stage.
In this piece I have imagined the characters have tired of the book’s narrative and are determined to leave it. They are packed and ready to go. As an afterthought they have impulsively decided to take the piano from Chapter 16.
A series called “The Birds”. Starting with an altered book concept I imagined what would happen if the book’s illustrations became animate and escaped. A book entitled “Birds of the Heath and Marshlands” inspired the bird theme:
The first sculpture in the series captures the moment of a fourth bird bursting from the book. Three other birds watch in a curious yet dispassionate manner. Remnants of bookish existence persevere in their feet and feathers; some have retained their illustration number.
The second sculpture shows two escaped birds flying across a representation of ‘human endeavour’. Illustrative bits and pieces from many cultures and histories symbolize the world in entirety as the birds explore their new freedom.
The third sculpture captures a comedic moment of an encounter between a bird and a badminton birdie. The bird is curious about this object, but one wonders, as it has come from a book, does it understand what it is looking at? This particular shuttlecock is made of bird feathers, in this case which of them is closer to being ‘real’. What other objects will the bird encounter next?
Life begins, unfolds and then ends. As in all good stories it has a beginning, middle and end. And though it is a cliché, we write the pages of our own unique destinies or portraits, whether on fine vellum or butcher paper.
I imagine this book as my life story, starting with youthful vigour, but ending aged and both literally and figuratively on my deathbed. The details of a life might be found in and between the lines, but the universality of life itself is simply represented by the three faces of Beginning, Middle and End.
It’s always fun to throw in a bit of Latin. The title means Carthage must Fall and reflects the policy of the Roman Republic in 2nd century BC, of total decimation versus a peace treaty as a way to end conflict. However my Generals are typewriter keys, their weapons are pen nibs and their war is in words.