March 14, 2008

Last Square for Fallen Floyd

Some years ago, when hurricane Floyd grazed the coast of South Carolina, my husband purchased several sheets of heavy duty composition board for boarding up the house. Regardless of the fact that we were well out of harm’s way and far inland, the fear of a repeat of the path of Hurricane Hugo weighed heavily upon his mind. Needless to say, Floyd never made it to Orangeburg and the boards were unused. They were expensive, however, and I could not bear the thought of throwing them away wasted. I therefore had a friend with a circular saw cut them up into stacks of various sized pieces - mostly 12" squares. Over the years, I used them as substrates for mosaics - countless mosaics. I thought that they would never end. Today I used the last one and draw the “Archeology” mosaic series to a close.
In homage to the hurricane that brought these little squares into being I entitled this last work, “Fallen Floyd.” Like a previous mosaic featured on this site, the ceramic relief sculpture of the twisted man is an adaptation of my drawing of a man in that position in Peter Paul Ruben's painting "The Battle of the Amazons." Looking straight onto the surface, his body appears in a position somewhat distorted from the original. Looking at it from the side, however, restores the original vantage point of the figure in the painting.
In the mosaic, the figure is not quite as static as in my previous works and does not rest quietly in the usual position at the center or at the bottom of the square. He is instead thrown up into the upper left corner as if blown off course by a storm. His body rests where I typically would have placed a barrier. This angular figure now becomes the wall.
The pottery shards I used for this work are also much darker than the ones I used for previous mosaics - with black drips in them and swirling sgraffito lines indicative of unrest.
One technical advancement in this mosaic are some more precisely beveled edges on the marble due to my using a wet saw. I just learned how to use a wet saw a few days ago and thought I would use some of the cuts I was playing around with.

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