21.11.09

GRA - 3rd class sculpture

To make a monument, for someone or something.

What is a monument?
From Wikipedia: A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of past events. Functional structures made notable by their age, size or historic significance can also be regarded as monuments. Monuments are also often designed to convey historical or political information. Monuments have been created for thousands of years, and they are often the most durable and famous symbols of ancient civilizations.

What is a monument to me?
Old buildings, but mostly I think of a memorial, like the ones you find in France to remember the dead from World War I.
But what also comes to mind, is the Love Temple Marie Antoinette had built as an ode to love.

I would like to combine these two images in order to create a monument for what is important to me:
femininity
motherhood
balance
choice
beauty
independence
care
responsibility
sense of community

I would like to make an ode to the woman that I am today, to the woman of today, to all the women that have crossed my path. I would like to capture the versatility and power of women in one image.

What will my woman look like? Like Barbie...Or more like Venus of Willendorf?
The woman of today is nor Barbie, nor Venus of Willendorf. She strives to look like Barbie, but her features resemble Venus's. Both are icons however.

To execute my ideas, I borrow one of my daughter's Barbie dolls, give her a hair cut, and cover her whole body with paper mache, adding more realistic layers to chest, tummy, thighs and bum. I want her to balance work and motherhood in her hands, but I cannot not find a way to do that properly so I just let her stand on one leg with her arms open wide.
The idea is to hammer one foot to a pedestal but I can't find the right material so I use clay to hold her foot. However the clay does not support her whole body, so out of necessity I pack half of her leg in clay in order to keep her standing.
I cover her body with names of women I have met during my entire life. It is almost a meditative exercise as I jump from memory to almost forgotten memory.


The teacher is enthusiast about the documentation of my work. However, overall the monument doesn't seem to work for her. The only thing she finds interesting is the way the statue is caught in the clay. It's a revelation for me when she says that, because it happened by coincidence. I wasn't thinking, and I wasn't even trying very hard either. I can totally see and feel why that's the only part of the monument that 'works.' The big question remains though: can I reproduce this 'happy accident' when I want it to?

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