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#29 Owl

#29 Owl (220mm x 150mm x 150mm to be cast in bronze)

Maybe this post should be titled ‘Owl Revisited’, as Artwork #4, which was posted on June 14th was also an owl, but, in the shifting nuances of the artist, I decided to explore this fascinating group of birds in another dimension. It is interesting for me to shift mediums like this, as it tests my overall knowledge of the subject and allows a different journey of expression. Paintings are all about capturing light, and as form is depicted using the interaction of light on the surface of the subject, a good understanding of  the three dimensions is therefore required. But, as sculptures can be viewed from all sides, a complex understanding of form becomes mandatory, a challenging but usually very rewarding task. I also find that sculptures seem to say something completely different when compared to paintings, with texture, stance and composition adding another repertoire to the artistic voice.

Last weeks’ visit to Papkuilsfontein near Nieuwoudtville greatly encouraged exploring this subject, as the nightly calling of the owls deepened the experience of nature at this wonderful place.

On another level, the time and focus needed to complete a piece like this requires an emotional connection to the subject. Fortunately owls form an important aspect of my consciousness, their evocative calls and elusive natures’ so often carry my imagination into the darkness beyond what is visible, a wonderful metaphor with which to explore the unconscious – of journeys of discovery into the unseen realms of the human condition. This is especially interesting for me, as it is the human condition which I am seeking to unravel in pursuit of a deeper understanding of our complex relationship with the environment, which of course includes the wonderful but threatened owls.

Time to wish to you all a happy Christmas season – and please remember to share the message that the giving of gifts is all about the act of giving and less about the gift, an often inverted paradigm in this age of mass consumerism.

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