Thursday, January 23, 2014

Goat sculpture research with Janet Keen, contemporary Rotorua, New Zealand Artist .

After finishing the dog sculpture and waiting for it to cure before I can mosaic it. 
I am planning to make a goat sculpture.

Rufus at the workshop
Here is Rufus in my mosaic garden, pointing the way into my studio.

My cat Gary does not like Rufus. 

The  planning and researching for the nanny goat is exciting.
 I always love the start of a project.

 I want the goat to be communicating in some way with the dog. 
All my pieces will be involved in a narrative of some sort. 
Mainly because I like narratives and children's stories.

Goats  make beautiful little pets, as you can see from the pics I took of our neighbour at Kinloch's granddaughter.  

I had a  pet goat, named Candy when I was young and I loved her. They are intelligent and gregarious.

My husband (the Design Engineer) wants me to make it more correctly proportionate than my dog. 
Since I will probably have to ask for his help for the skeletal stage I am willing to co-operate. 
Instead of just doing it without thinking about it much and seeing what turns up, (which is working intuitively), I am researching and drawing like I was taught to at art school. 

I have discovered this cool Waikato artist whose name is Sam Mathers

He often depicts rural anumals in his work.

This is what he says about his work...


My work is a visual diary of my travels around the world and day to day normal life experiences.
 I create dribbles and scratches and weather beaten marks to add character and a natural look while using an unnatural colour palette. 
I enjoy the immediacy of acrylic paint, the effects of oil sticks and  bold complementary colours and the fun of seeing where the drawn line will take me.

This inspired me to do the following drawing in my visual diary.
 Maybe I will turn it into an outside painting to go with my goat. Maybe I  should do a dog one as well.
 You could turn them into mirrors, the possibilities are endless and almost overwhelming. 
Sam uses Resene paints like me and his colours still look vibrant.
 I like his work because its like a visual diary which I am always doing as well. 
 I  want to eat breathe, smell, (but not taste) goat.
I may go to Paradise Valley and visit the goat they have there and photograph it. 
I'd like to find some goats on the side of the road and photograph them.
 I'd like to go to a goat farm.
The list goes on. 
You could be researching for years before you finally get down to the nuts and bolts of it. 
Meanwhile I am unearthing some surprising things that I didn't know about before about  famous goat sculptures so it is very engaging.

 This is a result of my online research so far...

 A Rush of Blood to the Head, depicts two goats kissing.
The artist Beth Stichter, 37, is a  contemporary American  artist and her sculpture is featured at the Chazen Art Museum which is at the University of Wisconsin. 
 The sculpture has shocked some viewers and there have been stories of people  in the American media who are outraged. 

The artist stated that her intention was not to shock, which I find  hard to believe.  Look it up if you are interested.

This is what one art critic had to say about it. 

"The outrage fails to acknowledge that Madison is filled with thousands of art objects on public view every day, at museums, commercial art galleries, coffee shops and on and on. 
If you don't like something, don't hyperventilate; just move along. It's a big world out there, and not everything will be to your liking.
The Chazen's offer to partially conceal the sculpture when groups of young children tour the museum is a gracious and reasonable gesture. 
 However, let's not forget that the Chazen is a university art museum, on a campus populated largely by people over the age of 18.
 Adults deserve an engaging, challenging experience with art, not just a child-proof one."
Online comments have fallen into predictable camps, from defenders of artistic freedom to those calling it "pure sick garbage." 

Undeniably you will see that her work is beautifully and intricately crafted.  If you want to explore her work further have a look at her website. Google her.

Depicting goats in sensational situations is nothing new in art history.
The British Museum have recently installed one of Pompeill's most highly treasured sculptures. 

 Pan with a She-Goat
Here is the story
An erotic statue has caused the British Museum to install a "parental guidance" warning in their new exhibition, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The sculpture is of the mythical half-goat, half-man Pan with a nanny goat. The Times  reports that the museum is determined to display the object in plain sight, rather than hidden behind a curtain or in a "museum secretum" – a restricted area for those aged over 14 in the Naples Museum.
Paul Roberts, senior curator, said the statue may be unconventional today, but would not have raised eyebrows in Roman Pompeii: 
Roberts says high-brow Roman owners would have been amused by the statue: "It’s because the owners are cultured that they have the sculpture of Pan and the goat. They also have a sense of humour, because to a Roman that would have been humorous, not offensive."
He added that phallic symbols were commonplace in Roman homes. Images of the well-endowed fertility god Priapus, sometimes weighing his appendage against a quantity of gold, were often found at the entrance to houses as a symbol of success and good luck. 
If you want to see it google it.

Picasso's goat is famous

 She Goat By Picasso

 " Picasso's deepening interest in Classical imagery continued to make its presence felt in his sculpture as well as in his ceramic work. This massive life-size bronze is a wonderful assemblage of a wicker basket body, a palm leaf back, two ceramic flowerpots for the udder, and other metal elements, which was then cast. Apparently most of the objects were found in fields near Picasso's Vallauris studio. He had just had a baby called Paloma with his  young French mistress Francoise Gilot. "

Rauscheberg was a huge fan of Picasso.

 Robert Rauschenberg, "Monogram," 1955-59, oil, paper, fabric, printed paper, printed reproductions, metal, wood, rubber shoe heel, and tennis ball on canvas with oil on Angora goat and rubber tire on wood platform mounted on four casters. 
Critics have said that Rauschenbergs  "readymades" talk about homosexuality.

When I make my goat it  will not shock anyone because I don't really have the urge to confront my audience.
I live in a small, conservative, town so it has the effect of watering down everything and making you tread a very straight line morally.

When teaching children you have to make sure that you are completely reliable and beyond reproach because you are dealing with innocent minds that deserve  to be protected and nurtured.

Watch this space for progress and be prepared for more goat references. 

Creative Quote of the Day 
Love is not love without a violin playing goat.

Janet Keen Creativity
Mosaic and painting workshops

Monday to Wednesday mornings and Friday mornings 9.30am to 11.30am
Children's after school creativity classes enrolling now for Monday to Wednesday and Fridays after 3.30pm to 5.00pm.
Phone 346-3435 to secure your February place or email
If you are having a creative event in the Bay Of Plenty and you'd like me to cover it photographically; give me a ring on (07)346-3435 or email me at and I will send you a quote. 

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