This week in my class The Great Pretender, we completed our first Project as Action. For this project, we created a piece that had 3 tracks which were inspired by our power animals. The tracks of my piece were inspired by the way elephants move. From there, I found a machine and human action that had a similar movement. For my machine, I chose a wrecking ball and for my human action I chose the “1, 2, 3 Swing. 1, 2, 3 Swing” movement of parents/adults swinging a young child by holding their hands and lifting them up – creating a more or less human swing set. The process of this project was a pretty long one because we had to first find our power animal and then understand how they move. The biggest aspect of our animal we focused on was a trait they held and how the actions that show that and finally how it related to and resonated with us. We used the ICHING to help find our power animal, went to the zoo to see them in action, and created a flip book to best understand their movement. Patience, attention to detail, and accepting things that aren’t perfect are what I learned the most from this project.
WHO, WHAT, WHEN:
14.5 x 12.5 x 42.5
Cardboard, wire, and clay
The tracks of this piece were inspired by the way elephants move. From there, I found a machine and human action that had a similar movement. For my machine, I chose a wrecking ball and for my human action I chose “1, 2, 3 Swing” (a game when parents or adults swing a young child by holding their hands and lifting them up, creating a more or less human swing set)
We began this process with learning about the term power animal. We referred to the ICHING to learn about elements so we could find our power animals. Once an animal was picked, we researched its characteristics in order to learn all there was to know about them. We then took a trip to the zoo to watch our power animals in their natural environment better understanding their movement. Unfortunately, there was no elephant at the zoo so I relied on YouTube videos to help me understand the movement. Finally, we made flipbooks of our animal’s movements and then began on our final project.
Each track of this sculpture represents a different way in which I perceived elephants movement. The first path is meant to represent two elephants holding trunks and swinging them, a representation of their undying compassion. My mechanical movement is a wrecking ball. I chose this instead of a swing set because I thought it was a really cool contrast to the compassion I was trying to portray and feel I most relate to in elephants. Wrecking balls are a symbol of destruction and anger, the complete polar opposite of compassion. My final track was my representation of 1, 2, 3 Swing and to me that represents undying love and compassion, which goes hand in hand with my original opinion of elephants. Finally, I chose water as my natural element over earth because I thought it would more of a step outside of my comfort zone and was a different way to view what elephants most connect to. I represent this in my project with a stream running through the board.
As I began this piece, I sketched an elephant to try and understand it’s general shape and from there I made my flipbook. As soon as I finished that, I sketched the movement of all my three representations in a linear path so I could create the paths I wanted to depict in my final project. Then I actually went about creating these paths with wire and placed them on carefully on my piece of cardboard. Finally, I secured them and created my lake running through to represent the element I chose.