30.000 x 60.000 cm.
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Cormorant And Moon Jellyfish - Yokojikkengawa River
Sculpture - Bas Relief Sculpture
When the newness of my life in Japan really started to get to me, I found myself revived by taking walks along the waterways that zig-zag through my Koto-ku community. The natural life along these rivers is surprising and beautiful. The water is quite clear, ideal for wading birds and diving ducks. In spring it fills with clouds of fingerlings and jellyfish. As I walked, day after day, I began to find myself completely fascinated by the motion, energy and antics of cormorants.
Not exactly graceful fliers and downright clumsy as walkers the cormorants of my neighborhood provided me with many smiles. What really caught my interest though, was their almost magical transformation from ungainly terrestrial comedians into strikingly efficient and agile sub-surface adventurers. With a turn of the head and a swirl of water they disappeared, trailed by the bubbles of the upper world. The distances that they could cover underwater and the duration of time that they managed to remain below the surface was quite remarkable. Then with a pop and a bob they arrived back in the sunlight with a shake of their head and quite often a silvery fish in their beak.
The more I watched, the more I found myself relating to these birds I too am rather awkward in my world. I find myself inefficient and often laughable, even to myself. However in my proper element I find myself unhindered. I shed my social limitations and shrug off my personal liabilities. In short, I began to realize that the underwater world to the cormorant is what I find my studio to be - a seemingly limitless space in which to wander, explore and seek after the beautiful shimmering wealth that lies below the surface of things.
When I see a cormorant, I smile and in smiling I like to think that perhaps they too are casting a knowing glance back at me comrades and wanderers alike.
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March 5th, 2014
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