Monday, April 24, 2017

Toy Snake Factory at Screaming Sky

Last Thursday, April 27th I will be showing a new body of work in a solo show at Screaming Sky

Opening Last Thursday in April at 2025 NE Alberta.

I will have some toy snakes I made as well as a healthy serving of paintings, not all of which are snake themed.

If you think about it, snake skin boots are the ultimate insult (to snakes).

I had a dream that I was working in a toy snake factory. I will spare you sleep inducing details that come along with explaining a dream, but just to say that that is where the impulse to make this show started. The form of a snake is horrifically simple and perfect. They are basically a head and a tail. There might be a neck involved too. And godbless'em they have no time for funny business.

I'm of the school of thought that the best toys are simple. The least amount of moving parts a toy has the more your imagination is activated. Beyond the evolutionary effects, I think snakes effect our imagination for a similar reason. They aren't creepy because they can fly and shoot lasers out of their eyes, they are creepy because they do so much with so little.

It's interesting to me that snakes have been villainized and overused to represent evil. Don't get me wrong, I think snakes deserve the space they demand, I just think you need to trust a snake to be a snake. Snakes can be viscerally frightening for good reason. With my show I want to disarm people with the cuteness of a toy snake though, and I enjoy the juxtaposition of something so menacing being a toy for a child.

Considering all of that, making a toy of something so simple has its challenges. I was tempted to follow a number of classic designs including the "mixed nuts" gag rout, but found my original design was most consistent with the material I use, hearty construction, and my vision for the visual and comfortable tactile feel I was going for. I hope this body of work doesn't evoke fear, but instead encourages wonder and informed respect. An approach I strive for with all aspects of life.

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