21 January 2007

a whale of a time


It's about time I say! I am so excited to show you the first of the series I am working on for my upcoming show at Xen Gallery. I know I have been talking a lot about polar bears and I have something to show you in that category too but you will have to wait... I can't reveal it all at once! I have also been using this new whale imagery. There is a little more of back story to this new work which I will let you in on now.

Last year I visited (in the interest of love) the island of Bequia. Bequia is an island in the Caribbean. There they have a long tradition of scrimshaw. While I was there I had the pleasure of visiting some local scrimshaw artists and I learned a little about this old tradition of the sailors. After hearing about the process and looking at the imagery I thought, this is what I do...only on clay (but I am not a sailor!). The seed was planted in my mind and I have been thinking about creating a body of work that is inspired by this ancient tradition. Originally scrimshaw was done on whale bones and teeth by sailors, often using pictures from newspapers and books (and the occasional risque girlie picture, wink, wink.) Nowadays scrimshaw artists do their fine work on horns, antlers and other types of bones from non-endangered animals. My intention is to re-create a modern interpretation of this ancient tradition, not using the bones at all, but instead clay and to celebrate the animals in which the bones were/are traditionally used and many of which are now on the endangered species list. So here is the first of the series. I'll be back soon to show you some more.

platter dimensions, 12 3/4" x 10"

11 comments:

futuregirl said...

Wow! I totally love this new direction. The whale is wonderful. I love how he looks like he's trying to sneak off the platter.

Kailla said...

I love that your work is both beautiful and thoughtful. I hope that you soon have work for sale on your site.

Kailla

jenifer74 said...

this is so beautiful :)

Abby Creek Art said...

Beautiful work, Diana. I love the big black whale in contrast to the subtleness of the rest of the platter.

Camilla said...

lovely lovely! Are you going to do a narwhal?

leigh said...

Amazing, beautiful and inspiring !

one black bird said...

futuregirl, he wants to be free :)

thank you everyone!

camilla, did not consider a narwhal but will look into it. thanks!

housemartin.typepad said...

really like this new direction - the black and white is so pleasing. interested to see more. like camilla's idea of the narwhal!

Camilla said...

I think a narwhal would look fantastic done like this. And I suppose I should say hello properly- not sure how I came to your blog, but it's great to see that there's a whole host of ceramics blogs for me to perve over. (I studied ceramics for my degree and have a love/hate relationship with it now!)

one black bird said...

camilla, you have piqued my interest. just looked up the narwhal (did not know much, actually anything, about the mammal.) fascinating creatures...ironcially polar bears eat them (whose images i am now using). they have a fascnating mythology attatched to them. thanks for the inspiration!! who knows maybe they will appear somewhere on my work:)

wendy said...

oh I love the whale...and gleaning from the local scrimshaw artists...I can see how your work in general could be inspired by the tradition.
beautiful.