The Bride and Her Suitors
A funny thing happened when I went back to the dressmaker’s dummy and some my objects after a day or so away. As i said, I’m not really a still life guy so my approach to it is something I am discovering as I go, and the strangest ideas pop into my head as I study the things arrayed on the set. While I was moving these objects around – and I wish I could figure out how to make a little flip book of the moves to share with you – because it’s interesting to watch the objects seem to move, like a stop motion film capturing all the little, incremental, steps they take. In a way it’s like animation, really.
While I was moving the pieces a thought floated up from nowhere, which was; these pieces around the dummy feel like ‘suitors’ in a fairy tale, and the dummy was the “Bride”. Now where did that come from? But as soon as it came to me I could no longer put it back in its box, and so my process kept on entertaining that notion and storyline. As I moved each object into the “suitors” stance each of them seemed to have a particular attitude; shy, bold, deferential, arrogant, stupid, clumsy, etc. I felt a little like a Disney animator casting my characters by their shapes and size, and then attributing other qualities to them. And the game became so entrancing that time just flew by.
Finally, the least of them all – the rusted and deformed exhaust pipe from a tractor – which I found in a field, came to bow before the Bride, and there it was! I had a feeling, what else can I call it! It seemed to fulfill those old Grimm’s Fairy Tale stories where the poor cobbler’s son presents himself before the royals and wins the day with his humility, or bravery, or other characteristics that show the other suitors to be the phonies they are.
Now where this came from I have no idea. But I went with it, and trusted that I was meant to see it this way.