This little earth of ours actually has two north poles. 'True north' is the axis on which we all spin and the 'Magnetic North' is the one which all compasses align to. Interestingly the later is actually moving all the time and sometimes can be over 1000 km from the true north. This can make navigation all the more complicated and needs to be taken into account when using maps. This was the inspiration for my Sculpture 'Poles apart' which I made for the 2011 sand sculpture exhibition in Dublin Castles upper courtyard.
We decided on the theme 'Compass' for this exhibition knowing that we had funding to make four sculptures. Each sculptor then pulled from a hat their compass point and was then free to take in in their own personal direction, wherever that may lead.
I have always been fascinated by the challenges of navigation around this little ball of ours and of the idea that one of our best tools to find our way was actually pointing us in the wrong direction. Its as if the compass was pointing at this living creature that danced around with a will of its own.
Each element in the sculpture represented one of the poles. True North with it straight lines heavily anchored to the ground and the Magnetic north with it's flowing lines inspired by the magnetic fields. The based was made into a section of the globe with lines of latitude and longitude.
My biggest regret with this piece and maybe even in all my sculpture career was that I decided to put some sort of figurative element in the magnetic structure. Why did I do it?
Well... One of our best tools to help secure funding each year for the Exhibition was the amount of publicity we got the previous year. Over the years we had always been successful in getting images in the newspapers. Many times we got a front page in the largest Irish newspapers which attracted thousands of visitors to the castle to see our work. Also, nearly every year we were on the main evening news of RTE and for us, these were things we could go to the castle and potential sponsors with to help fund and grow the event.
This year I knew that all of the works would be quite abstract and from other years the sculptures which got the best possibility of having nice pictures in the paper were the ones of figurative work. I worried that this may cause a problem with our exposure so decided I would put in something figurative in my sculpture. I really regretted it afterwards and swore I would never risk the integrity of a sculpture for clicks, if you know what I mean.
I am embarrassed to even show the pictures because it was so badly carved. The sculpture would have been one of my favourites without it. To be honest I could just photoshop it out but that would be cheating. Just know that I think the sculpture would be much better without this monstrosity at its core.
Here are two videos surrounding it making and breaking.
Thanks for reading. I use PeakD to document my work as an ephemeral Sculptor of sand, snow and ice, amongst other things. This will hopefully give it a new life on the Hive Blockchain. Below you will find some of my recent posts.
Knights of the round table - sand sculpture
Colosseum - sand sculpture
Kolmården Zoo - cement sculpture (Part 2)
I hope you'll join me again soon
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