Semester 1 : Week 14 ~ Chocolate Girl

UP THE STICKSo last time I posted my bust was beginning to develop…ooer Missus. I had decided to build a bigger one, one that interacted with the space by being interrupted by it i.e. a big one.

The first problem is that there is no step-ladder in the building, however I determined that a pile of tables and chairs would do they job and they did (only don’t tell anyone in charge). . So I took the college shopping trolley and went for a wander in the rain one morning. Within half and hour I had found a very nice pallet lying around. I don’t think it belonged to anyone but I made off with it pretty sharpish just in case…


Even before I began my eye was caught by the latest issue of the Visual Artists Ireland news-sheet which featured Sanja Ivoveic’ Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, a riff on Luxembourg’s Golden Lady, originally created in 2001 and now installed at EVA International in Limerick. Ivokevicss Lady Rosa is a tribute to all the women ho are not recognised in the course of the Great Wars and she is pregnant. That fact that this is a statue on a plinth suited my idea but what sparked me was the pregnant bit-it seems to me women are still being defined by their baby making abilities even by feminists. This and the deification of motherhood drives me a bit bonkers.

My theory of the world and its power structures goes something like this: Men getting their hole. Excuse my french. But that’s what it all boils down to. Women seem content to play along with this and allow themselves to be herded into the baby making fold again and again. I mean look at us, we not only have to have babies (yes we do if we want to ‘belong’-try being baby free and see what people and society thinks of you) but now we have to work all the time as well. Doh.

Add to that the population is exploding and according to a letter signed recently by bazillion scientists that it will be the death of us, and Earth, despite the fact women, in the west at least, can now choose not to have them wrecks my head. It may be hard to have a family but it is easier to go along with the herd than to rise above. I  have more respect for a woman who choses not to have children rather than one who does.This society likes to think its advanced but we are not…

Was I ranting?Anyway you see now how a golden pregnant woman on a pedestal set my neurons firing. The result is Chocolate Girl (Up the Stick). Chocolate Girl is fat not pregnant. You can only see her tiny gold feet as she has absconded for more chocolate (the animal appetite calling). Her plinth, squashed into a space too small for it, is a hodgepodge of old bits of wood balanced on a couple of cardboard boxes (well a pallet wrapped in cardboard) and a pink-painted bedside chest in which a gold foil mold of the face of the bust in the downstairs window is seen peeking out. There is chocolate on its face, on the door and on the base of the plinth.


The inscriptions on the bottom echo the inscriptions on Ivokevic’s piece: Virgin becomes ‘Not Preggers just Fat but Definitely not a Virgin’, Liberty becomes an ad for Liberty Insurance because Liberty of course is only something else to be bought and sold, while Kunst becomes…well work it our for yourselves…


Ivokevic’s piece wasn’t the only inspiration. A recent trip to Glasgow saw me admiring derelict buildings there, like the one pictured above with its windows blanked out by chipboard which does not ruin the lines of the building at all, in fact the building transforms the chipboard. This thought of chipboard then was in my mind when I saw a fountain being renovated near the campus…



..the contrast of the cheap wood and the ornate fish appealed and inspired my use of Lady Rosa.

I haven’t received the results yet and though I am sort of pleased with it I am not expecting too much. This sort of messy ,mad sculpture not to mention humour is not de rigueur at the moment, in the college or in Ireland’s art scene at large (with a couple of exceptions). I shall have to help change that…



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