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Touching Things for Luck

Tadpole

Last week I decided to take pictures of all my bronze sculptures, at least the ones I can get to easily. So one thing I did was go down to the park to photograph the first set of pieces I ever did (around 10 years ago), the life cycle of the Pacific Chorus frog.

Every once in awhile I go down to check on them, make sure they’re still attached to their moorings and that they’re not tagged with graffiti. I can tell that I’m not the only person to look after them, although I’ve never seen anyone at it. I can also tell that people feed them, little bits of wood chips and pebbles are around their mouths. I think that must be little kids, mostly.

One time I was there and three kind of marginal looking guys (it’s a very urban park, favored by homeless teens) walked by and one of them said to the others, as a tour guide might, “hey, that’s the life cycle of the frog.” I was touched. Somehow other people had started to own them.

So, when I was there this week, an older woman came down the stairs and patted them. She said to me, “these are great.” I thanked her and told her I was the one who made them. I always feel self conscious when I do that. I don’t think people quite believe me. Anyway, this woman told me that she always touches them for luck. How is it, I started to wonder, that something I made has become an icon? It wasn’t my intention, but objects have a life, and art objects must somehow become things that we all share. It’s a big thing, making images. I like it that I’m part of that.

4 Comments

  1. hey rachel— it would be nice to be able to “follow” your blog, and have it listed in my blog as one that I follow. If you follow mine, you can add your blog & website URL to it so other followers of my blog can surf over to yours. I kind of like it. I have 2 followers and I was so thrilled !

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  2. love the frog sculpture story. I want to touch them too — why didnt you take me to see them? I must see them

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  3. lyn dillin wrote:

    love the life cycle of the frog, those are some juicey tadpoles…pretty good when you can make a hard substance like bronze look viscous….and I love that you got to experience people having them as part of their lives…xxL

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  4. lyn dillin wrote:

    oh, and I like that the other stuff you did to your blog… time to wind down and try to get some solid sleep tonight. xxx

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink