My daughter needed a recent article for school, and found a very interesting one: the mummified droppings of a Hyena were found in the North Sea, some 30000 to 40000years old. So we took out some books about prehistorical life: the world of dinosaurs suddenly appeared in my living room! And so my oldest son suggested to try and find the oldest heart...
I found it, I think. It belonges to a mummified dinosaur. There are only a few of them, and a fascinating world comes to life. One of those mummies, 'Willo', actually exposes his heart, which has four chambers and therefore scientists believe that dinosaurs were warm-blooded creatures, close to the birds..
The 7th heart will be the oldest one! Work to do now...
'Het werk vordert traag, maar gestaag. Het lichaam wordt steeds jonger, fragieler. Ik graaf diep, probeer me mijn eigen jonge lijf te herinneren, hoe alles veranderde... Het verandert nog steeds, alleen in een vreemde, ongewenste versnelling. A battle is going on in my studio with my stone, my memories and time.' (notities bij het maken van 'battle of the Remains II)
Dit graven in mijn herinneringen was er ook bij het werk: 'Marie'. Het is het tweede beeld in een reeks van drie koppen. De koppen rusten op arduinen sokkels, de restanten van oude graven die ik haalde op een kerkhof. 'Marie' is gemaakt naar de herinnering aan mijn grootmoeder op haar doodsbed. Ik was toen tien jaar oud en haar dood heeft grote indruk op me gemaakt.
Over het geheugen en het vergeten...
Morgen ga ik naar een lezing van Dauwe Draaisma, over zijn nieuwe werk: 'Het vergeetboek'.
Ik las reeds 'Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt'. Hieronder enkele uittreksels.
"We must forgive our memory for yet another reason. It finds it easier to determine what has changed than to tell what has stayed the same. The people we have around us every day change as quickly or slowly as everyone else, but thanks to our daily contacts with them their changes are played out on a scale that makes them seem to stand still. It is unfair to blame our memory for throwing away editions when, on the face of it, the latest imprint differs in no way from the preceding one.
Photography has altered our relationship to our memories of past appearances. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, the problem of trying to remember somebody and being unable to tell whether you recall his face or his photograph did not exist. This uncertainty follows on from the certainty a photograph profers, the knowledge that once, then, on that particular occasion, he had looked like that: that glance, that hairstyle, those features. These days we have something like a photographic biography of nearly everyone, from their birth to the present day or their death — a visual record that may not document every phase of life with equal intensity, but nevertheless comprises the entire life and records the changes that pass too slowly for our memory to notice."
Uit: 'Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt', Douwe Draaisma
Mijn dochter. Ze was misschien nét een jaar oud.
last week I saw the dissection of a squid. The hearts are really small, more like a bit of snot, then a pumping organ... strange experience, fascinating. there are indeed three of them, one has some sort of a square-like shape. the other two are like fat cookies... The veins are very hard to see, the blood is invisible, you can see right through it. This is a problem for me, since I make the veins in wax. Still trying to figure out how to show this snot-like structures in stone! I think I'll use Belgian Royal Marble. It has lots of veins and is very difficult to carve in. But beautiful!
The yellow parts on the photo below show the gill heart (with the gills in black ink colored in the back) and the systemic heart in light yellow in the middle.
The very thin white kind of structure running down is a vein..
I was able to film the dissection at the university of Ghent. Sophie gave me a very comprehensive explanation about the circulatory system of the animal. This is only a small part of the dissection. With many thanks!!!
An octopus has three hearts. Interesting, yes. I want to carve them, but it seems almost impossible to find good representations of those hearts.
Avery nice maritieme biologist from the Ghent university will dissect a seacat and show me how the hearts look and how they are connected. Next week is the big day! I'll make a video and some photos. Hopefully it is possible to carve the hearts, I want to represent them in some sort of triangle...
Another thing I'm working on, is the Battle of the Remains III. I'm into this competition to put a sculpture outside a new build home for elderly people. Let you know how it goes... I'm quite excited about it, because I strongly believe that this is exactly the kind of place that my sculpture need!
Working on a spiders heart now... I think I will eventually overcome my strange anxiety for spiders. Beautiful creatures. Their heartbeat is the same as with us, humans. (30 to 70 beats per minute) and when they'reexcited, their heart beats as fast as 200 times per minute...
They carry their heart on their back. The blood is called hemolymph, it's color is bluish because of the copper-containing respiratory pigment hemocyanin. It has the same function of hemoglobin, but instead of iron, it contains two atoms of copper in the center of the molecule, which bind to oxygen. ('Biology of spiders', by Rainer F. Foelix) You can find the book online... very very interesting stuff! On the sketch you can see the heart and vessels. It is an open circulatory.
I'll make the heart not in wax, as I first thought, but in sculpey. It will probably give me the opportunity to work faster and smaller...
I found three out of four Bell jars! Good news. The stone hearts will be resting on a silver foot. A friend and collegue artist is working on that. Her site: http://www.ingridadriaenssensedelsmid.be/
Meanwhile I mamaged to visit 'La carriére de Luget', en France. The owner of the holiday house happened to know the owner of the carriére. Very interesting, since the take the stones out of a gigantic 'pit'. Never saw that before!
... And this is an unfinished human heart in Belgian Bluestone. They will go under a glass bell (if I find them). I have a 3th heart: the Heart of the North Sea (you can see it if you just click on 'work' whitout any specification. It will be a series of four or five hearts, with wax veins that I still have to attach... lots of work need to be done. More photos on http://picasaweb.google.be/chantal.pollier/TheHeartOfTheMatter#
This is the fish heart I was talking about. It's the heart of a red salmon, made in Black Belgian marble. hard to find, hard to work in, very hard stone!
...The next step is to find suitable glass coverings...
ik ben dus op zoek naar stolpen - iedereen die er heeft staan, met van die bloemen onder of vazen of maria-beelden - en ze weg wil of een nieuwe bestemming wil geven ... ik ben kandidaat! Ik maak een reeks beelden- harten- die elk onder een gepaste stolp moeten komen. In oktober moet het werk af zijn.
My newest work is all about the heart. I just finished a fish heart... beautiful thing. There is this horrible youtube film where they capture a red salmon, filate it and apparently the heart is still beating... proudly they take out the beating heart to hold it in front of the camera, on the palm of their hand!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9JP6FlfG3Y&feature=related
Today I had to go to the doctor with minor hearing difficulties... Nothing very worrying, luckily. I had a nice conversation , and the doctor even gave me a recipient of an inner ear, with a cochlea and the 3 canals to control the balance. I want to make a sculpture based on this tiny inner structure, but I'm still looking for a 3dimensional pictural representation...
The arm and hand are fine, now I'm trying to fix the arm to the alabaster sculpture. The problem is the different ways wax and alabaster cope with light - while this alabaster is highly translucent, wax reflects all the light, nothing goes through... the difficulty is to make one nice sculpture with these two materials... I'll see...
Today I'll work on the wax- arm for my sculpture 'battle of the remains II'. I tried a first version, which worked but wasn't good enough... Too many cracks and bits and pieces! So now I go for the real stuff! Photos will follow soon!
'Battle of the remains III' is the marble sculpture that I'm planning to make within the next months. I took photos from a dear friend's back - hard work, because I didn't really know how to ask her to pose. I only had a vague idea. The night before she came, I had a really strange dream. I was in the livingroom of my sisters place, with our children. There was something going on outside so I went to the window to have a closer look. I seemed to me it was an outburst of a gigantic vulcano, and I immediately knew that this was it. I turned around, wanted to say something but realised that there was nothing really I could say. Within seconds everybody was going to be dead. I turned my back to the window and tried to take my youngest child, who was near me, to pull her under me. Then it was all white and I woke up; all confused...
But: it is that sort of back that I want to make in marble, the still of a movement, the fragility and strongness and the remains also..
Work in progress, Thoughts, ideas with no particular shape, exhibition setups and photos of openings, nice visits to interesting colleagues and scientists...