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SCULPTURE FINALIST 2016/SHARLEENE OLIVIER

In my artwork I try to capture time through concrete, each member of my family is represented in the making of my sculpture.

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My artwork began as an attempt to capture time. Life is so fast-paced. Everything constantly changes. I feel the need to set something so that is stays that way. What better medium than concrete? Concrete reinforces the notion that the final piece is firmly established and difficult to change.

To capture time, I wrapped my legs in packaging tape and used the mould to build the legs for a life-size figure. I continued this technique to create a hybrid figure. I used my young son’s teddy bear for the head and body, my husband’s feet for stability and my hands to create the trunk on the face.

Thus each member of the family is represented in the making of the sculpture. The resulting “creature” looks peaceful and kind to me, a symbol of our family currently, before we change and grow. It hopefully captures the spirit of our family unit. This hybrid form was the basic structure of the final concrete sculpture.

This therianthropic figure can be used to interpret human traits in animal forms. Personally, elephants symbolize quiet wisdom, as well as slow and steady determination. To me, they are also a symbol of the family, as elephants live in a troupe. Once this sculpture was completed I could not help but be reminded of the multi-layered symbolism of the Hindu god Ganesha, remover of obstacles. Therefore, he evolved from a hybrid of the family into a totem for the family.

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