"Pyxis Awry 2021 (wedge - first rapid)", 2/2021, bronze, 10"h  x 16"w x 9"d  (26 x  41 x 23cm)

view a short video about this series

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Pyxis is a small and faint constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for a mariner's compass   Pyxis is completely visible in latitudes south of 53 degrees north from January through March.

awry  1 : in a turned or twisted position or direction: askew      2 : off the correct or expected course: amiss

 

The works in this series feature a “vessel” form - historically understood in art and literature as a

symbol or metaphor for the self, a group of people, human kind. If the vessel's compass is awry it will likely end up adrift, untethered, off course.

My intent with this series is raise questions/search for answers relative to personal (or a group) decisions or courses of action and

shed light on the resulting consequences, whether they are personal, political, environmental.

more about this piece; influences and intent

Entering the First Rapid, Winslow Homer, 1897, watercolor on paper

"Pyxis Awry 2021 (wedge-first rapid)" was created during the 2nd Trump impeachment trial in mid-February 2021. I was deeply troubled by the inaction of the United State senate and like other works in the Pyxis Awry series the cascading, out of control vessel is a metaphor for a person or group of people who have lost the bearings of their inner compass and as a result are adrift and in danger.

The two part subtitle differentiates this piece from others in the series. Wedge is a direct reference to the largest physical element in the sculpture - an actual bronze cast of a wooden “felling wedge”, complete with its chainsaw marks - which I had cut from a tree to insure it would fall in the proper direction. It also and more figuratively coveys my deep concern that the recent impeachment ruling and the political animus it furthers, will further wedge our country apart.

The second part of the subtitle - first rapid - is a nod to the 1897 Winslow Homer watercolor Entering the First Rapid (above) portraying two oarsmen at the moment before they enter the turbulent and dangerous water ahead. I was unaware of this painting until it coincidently appeared in one of my social media feeds while I was working on this piece. Being a big Homer fan and an avid kayaker it resonated as a perfect metaphor for this pivotal moment in our history and what lies ahead for a country which seems hopelessly divided and politically adrift.

 

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fabrication Feb. 2021

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