For my first project as action in my art class, I made a sculpture depicting the movement of my Power Animal along with a human and mechanical movement that resembled the original one. The basis for this project was the theory that the movements of our Power Animal could be used to show our own natures. This project helped me better understand my personality by providing a visible version of it. Since I am a better visual learner, even this abstract piece of art was of more of a use to me than a somebody describing me. I’m really happy with how the piece turned out given that I had no idea what I was doing with the clay until I was already doing it. It worked though, and that’s just a great feeling.
AT The Earth Above (22”,22”,9”) 09/2012 Made with: wire, clay, sculpey, and cardboard
The idea of this piece is to show your power animal’s movement, along with a similar human and mechanical movement and relate them to our natural elements through the use of molded wire and clay. We first started this project by trying to define what the term Power Animal meant and used the ICHING to determine our natural elements. We followed that up by choosing our own Power Animal and taking a field experience to the zoo to verify our animal and observe its movements. The next step in the process was to make a flipbook depicting and visualizing our animal’s movements that would later help with the building of the sculpture.
Lastly, we found both a human and a mechanical movement that associated with our animal’s own movement and shaped three wires to identify each of them. In order to finish the movement wires, we had to make beads with a hole in the middle out of sculpey. After they were hardened in the oven, we slipped one through each wire and were this way able to illustrate how the movements worked in a visual form. We then took the cardboard we had spruced up with clay and the molded wires, and put it all together to show the movements mingling with the natural element we had chosen.
At first I had chosen an ox, but after going to the zoo and discovering that there weren’t any oxen residing there, I changed my Power Animal to the Sichuan Takin (a goat/ox mix that lives in the Asian mountains). The natural element that I chose was Earth. In my sculpture, I made a mountain with the clay I had to better depict my element. It worked in the exact way I wanted it to; it did a great job of representing the solidness of my animal and his/her way of life.
The movements I chose were the Takin’s slow nonchalant walk, a human rolling down a hill, and a vending machine dispensing a snack. The walk represented an established motion; one so normal that you wouldn’t even need to think to do it. To me, the roll was similar to the Takin’s walk in the sense that even though rolling down a hill is usually a chosen act, there is a set motion to how you do it. The vending machine’s motion depicted a non-negotiable action that once concluded, fulfilled its given purpose completely.