Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Graeme Foote Ceramic Book Sculptures (& Aussies 'n' Fairy Tales Week Begins Tomorrow!)

Alice in Wonderland by Graeme Foote

My ducks have been misbehaving and have refused to get in a row this week so "Aussies 'n' Fairy Tales" week is getting a delayed start until tomorrow. What I will be highlighting is the work of Australians who are regularly inspired by and work with fairy tales. You will likely already know some of them, since their work is known worldwide, but I had to pick and choose... There are a lot!
May Gibbs  was an artist and writer who had a profound way of translating the European idea of fairy tales and faery-like people using the Australian bush. These characters literally grew out of the landscape and once you grow up with them, it's difficult not to imagine them peeking from every bit of scrub and forest you see

In the meantime, take a look at what renowned Australian ceramic sculptor, Graeme Foote, does. He creates large works that are larger than life - something difficult to do in this medium.
That's the Magic Pudding perched on top. I wish I could find a pic of the front of him.
He's such a wonderfully grumpy and adorable character!

Although Mr. Foote doesn't specifically work with fairy tales, when you talk literature and influencing works in Australia, fairy tales have a habit of cropping up, like they have here.

This series is called Book Memories and, unsurprisingly, there are a few fairy tales and children's books referenced in his work.
'Book Memories' exhibition of sculptures creates a dialogue of the artist's literary journey exposing both his admiration of these authors, their character and subject matter. Foote empathises with the authors and brings their characters to life.
From the Melbourne Review on this exhibit:
The exhibition is made up of 15 sculptures starting with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which shows a sculpture of Alice peering into the book and seeing the characters emerging out from the pages.
“I wanted to create a series of sculptures that reflected and paid homage to all the inspirational books I have read throughout my life,” said Foote, “that captivated me and continue to inspire my sculpture practice .”
Foote’s renowned ability to successfully create large ceramic sculptures is on display in the sculpture of a young reader sitting atop 16 books showing all the titles of the exhibition and also the robot sculpture sitting on Isaac Asimov’s book Robot Visions with five large books used as a plinth (total height 120 cm). Some of the other inspirational books featured in various sizes are The Agony & the EcstasySnuggle Pot Cuddle PieRodinShogun; and Dante’s Divine Comedy.
I have made key character, inspiration and themes from the books literally emerge out of the pages and into my sculptures,” Foote added.
Interestingly, Mr. Foote's career largely began when his wife was searching for a large dragon-like gargoyle to put on the roof of their new house and couldn't find one.

Here are some more from children's literature (although James and the Giant Peach always recalls Momotaro Peach Boy for me):

And you can see even more of Graeme Foote's work from this exhibit HERE as well as some of his other large ceramic and stone work HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I love that they used books for this. It looks more real this way. It's amazing. It is like having monsters and characters pop out of the book. This is a dream come true for us fairy tale lovers.