Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 32: Make something ephemeral

Maybe I'm being overly philosophical about this, but it seems to me that capturing and documenting something ephemeral does in essence negate it being ephemeral. If you can look at it any time you want for the foreseeable future, it's relatively permanent, at least as much as anything on the internet is. I apologize for the grainy photos and video, though, we were having severe thunderstorms while I did this project so the lighting wasn't good.
The story 'Brothers of the Wind' is by Jane Yolen, and it's a picture book, probably not one of her better known works. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, rich blue skies over golden deserts textured so you can practically feel the sand. It's a story about a boy, and a horse with wings, but there's nothing patronizing about his tale. There's a grimness underlying the story, despite the dreamlike imagery. I don't want to give away the ending, but mortality and the fleeting quality of life are a major part of the message.
This book is one of those much-loved volumes my parents brought home from the yearly book fair in Seattle, where they'd go for my dad's work and stay overnight. The torn dust jacket shows it's been around and read often, and it's one of those few treasured picture books I kept when I moved across the country. The image in the left background of this blog is actually the back cover of this book.

I struggled with what to actually make for this project, and what I really wanted was to do something with smoke, but I couldn't quite figure out how. Ultimately I just made a little winged horse for the purpose of burning it, which creates smoke, but not enough to set off our smoke alarm. The slow, ashy collapse was strangely interesting to watch, as was the remnant that refused to burn...

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