lumpy crossing

Over the winter, I finally made another sculpture.  I call her “lumpy crossing.”  She’s full of spray foam insulation, which I added during a severe cold snap that left people nervously watching the gauges on their propane and oil tanks.  Adding the foam was a very slow process: if you add it all at once, it blorps out all over the floor.

The name comes from a story about the name of a place in the Northern of Ireland, Corrymeela:

Corrymeela is often translated from the original Irish as “Hill of Harmony” or “Hill of Sweetness.”  But there is another and more probable translation.  The name comes from a neighbouring townland, Corrymellagh, in the parish of Culfeightrin.  Culfeightrin means in Irish “The Corner of the Stranger.”  Corrymellagh means “The Lumpy Crossing Place.”

Perhaps the latter etymology is more apt for us: a place where differing groups, strangers to each other, are offered the opportunity to cross over into another space.  And the crossing is “lumpy,” not easy, full of pitfalls.

What can I say about this last year?  Not much.  Except, maybe, that it has been a lumpy crossing.

her

It’s always interesting to notice when I stop thinking of a sculpture as “it” and start saying “her” instead.

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With this one, it started at the armpits.

middle

I love this part. It’s like a satisfying novel, or a not-too-difficult puzzle. A little bit of work, but mostly just watching it unfold.

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The ends of the wires are still trying to pull away from the form, but if I can just control the next three inches everything will work out okay.

beginning

This is how it always starts: heavier vertical wires taped to the form. Multiple layers of tape, because the wire does not want to stay put.

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Then I go around the hips and attach a lighter-weight wire to each vertical wire. This part drives me crazy. Wires everywhere, trying to poke me in the eyes, making a little shivery sound as they brush against each other.

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Here’s a close-up of one of the little wires wrapped around one of the bigger ones:

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Fussy and barely manageable, like a newborn baby. It takes me a while to get into a groove.