This summer has been the Gilding Duo’s foray into ceramics that has kept the pair so busy for the past couple of weeks.
For those who don’t know, Gilding’s husband was in a car accident some 10 years ago that left him paralyzed from the neck down — the technical term is quadriplegic. Mr. Gilding also happens to be an artist, which leads us to a very experimental venture into most things art.
As an art major, it has been a test of wills and boudaries in the world of traditional art education; many of the required courses for art majors are 3-Dimensional art forms and require the use of hands that are fully functional — and often lacking in even the best of times. As ironic as it sounds — in a major that’s supposed to be all about pushing and reinventing and even tearing down the boundaries — art institutions are simply baffled and often disgusted by the notion of giving someone a degree for which the traditions of many of their art institutions were substituted with some other form. So we devised a way of life that both confounds but thus far has earned us the respect of these institutions — Mr. Gilding creates the design of his imaginings, and from the outside looking in, acts as another pair of eyes with a separate line of perspective as Gilding acts as his hands. Because of this the pieces created are a unique collaboration, his being fully the driving idea, while Gilding’s being a subconscious result of her mind directing her hands. The end result is a blending of both our styles that thus far has resulted in TOTAL AWESOMENESS!
The assignment was to create a trophy, though the stipulation was that the trophy had be of an original idea — no remakes of “#1 Dad” of “Mom of the Year” and other such generic awards. It had to be in celebration of something, whether it be good or bad or otherwise, and the it had to be discernable what quality the trophy was awarding. Mr. Gilding struck upon the idea of a play on words, hence a trophy became a “Troll Fee” and we hashed out the meaning behind the award would be a celebration of capitalism — a social commentary on the visibly corrupt system that capitalism has become yet that it is revered and celebrated as an individual freedom when its has such qualities of greed and gluttony that for all other intents and purposes is seen as sinful but regarded highly in industry.
There is much symbolism in the piece itself, the overall form is meant to connotate something large and hulking over a structure that barely contains its weight and at the same time holds the wealth of the people, which they will never see once its cashed in. Though the figure is obviously a troll, his polished veneer and coiffured hair denote a semblance of civility, though only one that is outwardly worn. The suit, which also features tails, denotes an authority that is recognized even if you know what lies beneath is actually a beast not to be trusted. The teeth are gleaming and while visually they are meant to be a bright spot on an otherwise dark structure, they are a show of the wealthy being able to afford healthcare, while most others cannot. The structure itself is strong though there are creeping, vine-like lines that appear to be burned on and crackling while its color is rusty, denoting decay and degredation. And the coins, though a gold color, are dirty in appearance underneath their bright veneer. Finally, the scroll contains the word “Fee”, its length symbolizing the large list of collections to be paid, while its overall form of a scroll conotates an age old industry that dates back a century or more, yet its crisp white shows an inability to ever die — a pretification if you will.
Not bad for our first time working with ceramics, eh?