Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Found Art Topic May 30th 2007: Close

This piece is called "Close, but no cigar"
The wording underneath is in French and says, "This is not a cigar. (This is free art!)"

I borrowed the idea from Rene Magritte's 1926 painting The Treachery Of Images (La trahison des images), "which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe, This is not a pipe (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe" (Wikipedia). As a media student, this image has had a significant impact on my understanding of symbols and the world of advertising. Probably too deep to go into on my blog, but I will say that we all too often make the mistake of accepting a symbol for the real thing. i.e. perfume which claims to be "intoxicating", "unforgivable", "sexy" or that it promises to magically make YOU "intoxicating", "passionate", "unforgetable"...hmmm c'est bullshit.

The term "close, but no cigar" came instantly to my mind when I saw Rosa's post last week. I had no idea what I would do with it until this morning when I rolled up a piece of recyled paper and it looked like a cigar! Immediately I remembered Magritte's pipe and away I went.

Just a bit of trivia as to where this term "close but no cigar" originated...

from Google phrase finder:

Fall just short of a successful outcome and get nothing for your efforts.
The phrase, and its variant 'nice try, but no cigar', are of US origin and date from the mid-20th century. Fairground stalls gave out cigars as prizes, and this is the most likely source, although there's no definitive evidence to prove that.
It is first recorded in print in Sayre and Twist's publishing of the script of the 1935 film version of Annie Oakley:
"Close, Colonel, but no cigar!"
It appears in U. S. newspapers widely from around 1949 onwards. For example, a story from The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, November 1949, where The Lima House Cigar and Sporting Goods Store narrowly avoided being burned down in a fire, was titled 'Close But No Cigar'.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Found Art 15 May 2007

Topic: Lost

EDIT: Damn! I just realised I spelled consciousness wrong! (and realised in NZ is spelled with an "s" for all you smarty pants out there!)

Wow, Rosa threw us a hard one this week...well it was hard for me because I could only think of "Lost" the TV show and so I tried hard to stay away from anything island-y.

So, I came up with a montage of things a person could possibly lose, and granted, there could have been so many more things to add like marbles, your mind, your parents, your childhood, job, sense of direction, pinky toe....the list goes on, but my lighter was running out of fluid so I left it at that. I then added a few small items that I have recently found...the little silver circle thing is enscribed with: "To Mum", on one side and "Love Courtney 2002" on the other. I guess I secretly hope this finds its way back to Courtney or her mum, whoever they are. There is also a button, a brooch, a penny(its probably worth millions, as it's not a US coin and I didn't even check it out on ebay before I popped it in) and a button.

Now the idea is that as soon as this is found, these things are no longer lost!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Found Art Set Free May 7th 2007


So here is my first found art piece. I'm not happy with the photos because my camera is crap...however I am happy with the piece, considering the time I put in. I chose a paua shell as my base. Paua is the NZ equivalent to abalone...and I thought of it because of the mother-of-pearl inside the shell as well as the shape...kind of reminds me of a pregnant belly.
I added the "babies", all connected by either apron strings or umbilical cords...symbolising the ties between mums and children.
The red hearts are painted with fingernail polish...reminds me of my mum who I've never seen without her red toenail polish, and my grandma who ALWAYS has red manicured fingernails.

The pearls were my great-grandmother's costume jewely, so that was a bit hard to set free, but I think it ensures the piece will find a nice owner. Inside the mama shell I shaped the pearls into a koru (in Maori it represents the unfolding of new life, that everything is reborn and continues. It represents renewal and hope for the future. )
Feathers were added to symbolise flight...all babies leave the nest at some time or another...well, that's what they're supposed to do anyway.
Finally, the writing on the back, which is not very ledgible, says: Mother, how you love us. Mum, how you suffer. Mama, how we love you. Ma, how strong u r.