Waterfowl souvenir

This statue contains several objects with interesting textures. There are two carved birds glued to some chunks of wood which are tied together with string. A couple of seashells complete the design. All the parts have detailed features that only appeared after they were painted. You can see the rings in the wood and the tiny lines in the sea shells. To me, it is amazing a media as obtuse as concrete can preserve tiny details like string texture.

Gray version

First I painted the statue gray, then I painted it with colors. As the details emerged, so did the story.

A long time ago, somebody carved a duck and a seagull. They may have left them outside until the wood deteriorated a bit. Perhaps the duck was used as a decoy. Someone decided to glue the birds to some chunks of wood, and add the shells, and tie it together with string to make a souvenir. Perhaps a tourist bought it in a gift shop. It was left out in the yard for a while longer, and the wood deteriorated.

Eventually someone found the souvenir, perhaps in at a garage sale, and decided to cast a mold. The mold was used to make concrete statues. I bought one at the foundry. Then I painted it and took a picture. It begs the question, who is the artist? The wood carver, the souvenir maker, the mold maker, the guy who poured the concrete, the surface painter or the photographer? There is no single person who can claim artist credit for this work. We are all the artist.

By Diana Gruber

Mathematician, game developer, and statue painter