little dragon, poplar, 2007 – ?
During the night before I went to the academy that summer I woke up with an image in my head. I took the pen and paper from the bedside table and sketched it. I think I didn’t even switch the lights on. Next morning it was still there and recognisable. I just refined the lines a bit, added the sketch to my luggage and left for another fortnight of adventure.
It is the first and so far only time, I had an image before I had a piece of wood. And I was slightly suspicious if that would work at all. The moment of discovery when the image, the vision, reveals itself is always special. To start on a piece of wood without knowing where to go – yet – requires an openness and trust that is a central element of the whole creative process. Knowing the vision from the start, I feared it would feel more like carrying out a plan: less art and more craft. Funny enough, with the second figure I worked on during that summer, it was the opposite: I didn’t get any image at all. (see ‘dance’)
There was a lot of wood available at the place and I walked around looking at the different pieces. There was only one that could possibly fit and had an adequate size to work on it with the hatchet. But it was poplar, which I don’t favour much. It is fibrous and kind of splinters, more like wood from a conifer not like from a deciduous tree. But the other pieces didn’t have the right proportions.
It really wasn’t the same kind of process of discovery and worked in a much more considered way. But it was still fun, which fit the character of the intention. It was playful. And that showed in the result.
There is still a lot of work to do on that one.