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Animal Alchemy

A group for those fascinated with the role of the animal in art . . .

Members: 8
Latest Activity: Jul 26, 2011

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Comment by charlie mclenahan on November 29, 2010 at 18:50
I have been interviewed about my work
http://monaleisa.posterous.com/
love to here your comments
Comment by charlie mclenahan on August 9, 2010 at 13:29
Hi all, I would like to introduce my self to the group, and post a line for discussion. First I want to show you one image from my portfolio of work. Should you wish me to leave your group after viewing this image I will understand.

Comment by veronika on December 30, 2009 at 4:05
The animal is a key to childhood.
Comment by Michael Bowdidge on June 24, 2008 at 10:34
Just have to wait ans see, I guess, though I'm sure that it will be both utterly obvious with hindsight and unforseeably left-field.
Comment by Deirdre A. Fox on May 15, 2008 at 2:08
Yeah, your right. Hmmn, wonder how the base experience of kids today will influence art tomorrow....
Comment by Michael Bowdidge on May 15, 2008 at 1:13
Well, thinking about it, i think that the whole farm set/animal toys thing was a lot more ubiquitous when we were young than they are now, which is interesting in itself...
Comment by Deirdre A. Fox on May 15, 2008 at 0:57
That's funny we both had the farm/animal toys.

I had two wonderful cats for a long time (they both passed away a couple years ago). I don't really have much contact with animals now, though in the summer, I do enjoy going to the zoo and drawing them (it's good practice, too :))

The sneaking up on the human bit applies to my work as well. Not sure one can help but see/feel totems.

Animals achieve a little relational distance that isn't there with the human figure. If one works with the human figure in a detached way, content is necessarily implied from the detachment, even if unintended. This is less so with animals, though still somewhat present. Where as working with inanimate objects, say rocks, content is implied the other direction, if one works in an attached way with them. Animals are in between, and chairs, being places for people to sit, are between animals and other inanimate objects. Human/Animal/Chair/... /Rock.

For me, there's also something about the form that walks on four legs, something in the separation between the front end and the back end. If one poses human figures that way, which one could, again, content is implied, whether intended or not.
Comment by Michael Bowdidge on May 14, 2008 at 23:42
I think for me they're a bit like the furniture that I use, i.e a way of 'sneaking up on' the human in the work, rather than confronting it head on, a kind of 'animal as other' thing if you like... for me they often self-symbolic too.

Yes, I had the whole animal toy thing/farm set thing too, funnily enough just been talking about that earlier...

Just out of curiosity, do you have 'real' animals in your life? I used to a have lot of contact with animals, but don't really any more, and since then I think there have been more animals in my work in a compensatory way...
Comment by Deirdre A. Fox on May 14, 2008 at 23:24
It's always been there, since I was a little kid playing with toy animals and a toy barn (some of my earliest memories) ... I wonder if there isn't a kind of sentimentality or nostalgia under it all for me, although I sort of hate to admit that. The animal do move in and out of being apparent in the work ... that is, they are involved in the conceptualizing, making or visualizing of the work in some way but they not literally present in the final piece). I used chairs recently, and realized they were really substituting for the animal -- four legs, a back, etc ...
Comment by Michael Bowdidge on May 14, 2008 at 23:08
Hi Deirdre, The same is true for me. Is that something that has always been in your work or was it something that came at a certain period? For me I think they have been there pretty much since I left college, but they tend to come and go a bit...
 

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