Like when I look at our pet rabbit Ozzie confined in his play-pen and trying to get out to race around in the 220 foot compound, and a view of rooftops with very few gardens in Richmond Melbourne, I get a tendency to feel claustrophic. That's why we let Ozzie free for about an hour a day - and then have to catch him of course - for his own safety from birds and dogs and cars.
There are many situations in life when we try to break free of constraints, from limitations and frailty of the body, a confinement either physical or mental. Yesterday when Peceli and I visited Epworth Rehabilitation Hospital in Melbourne I was reminded very much of the limitations some people have after accidents with months in hospital as the body heals and even then some people have to just 'live with it'.
A friend posted her poem and an image on facebook on the topic of 'freedom'. This made me aware of the intriguing sculpture in USA by Zenos on the theme of breaking free. This is from his website:
Size:20 feet long x 8 feet high
Location:GSK World Headquarters
16th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia
Zenos’ statement about his vision of the sculpture
I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.
Although for me, this feeling sprang from a particular personal situation, I was conscious that it was a universal desire with almost everyone; that need to escape from some situation – be it an internal struggle or an adversarial circumstance, and to be free from it.
I began this work in a very traditional sculptural manner by creating a small model in clay called a macquette. The purpose of beginning in this manner is to capture the large action and major proportions of the figure within the overall design without any details to detract from the big idea. Another reason for not having details and for working on a small model only a few inches in height is that the small armature within it, holding the clay, is more easily manipulated, allowing for much greater flexibility in developing a concept. For example, an arm, a leg or a head can be pushed around without any concern for obliterating details, such as a nose or a finger.
The macquette is the original mass of clay where a concept is born and from which it grows and develops. This was important later when I enlarged the sculpture from several inches long to 20 feet long, and I retained in the larger work a sense that all the conceptual material, its forms, focus and development sprang from this rough idea. The work metamorphosized, in the way that we do.
Although there are four figures represented, the work is really one figure moving from left to right. The composition develops from left to right beginning with a kind of mummy/death like captive figure locked into its background. In the second frame, the figure, reminiscent of Michaelangelo’sRebellious Slave, begins to stir and struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has torn himself from the wall that held him captive and is stepping out, reaching for freedom. In the fourth frame, the figure is entirely free, victorious, arms outstretched, completely away from the wall and from the grave space he left behind. He evokes an escape from his own mortality.