by Courtney Brown
"Temples of New Plastic"
This 1921 Corona 3 portable typewriter has such elegant design, I could not resist using it as part of a sculpture that conveys the beauty of the avian wing and it's symbolic implications.
The Latin root of the word Corona means garland or crown. The Greek root, however, refers not only to a crown but to other curved objects, similar to another word that means beak, and is the same root word korax, used for the bird family Corvidae, ravens and crows.
When I design a sculpture, there is much to consider besides the technical construction or the form. Often I start by being inspired by something else. In this case, my decades-long fascination with the Japanese art form of jizai okimono, which are articulated metal sculpture in the form of birds, insects, fish, crustaceans and dragons. Treat yourself to a search for the word, you will see many fine examples of this extraordinary art form
Diopetes is a sculpture with levels of symbolic meaning. The word, in Greek, translates to "fell from the sky". On the sides of this makeshift theater are tiny white stars that indicate her trajectory to the earth.
The word Diopetes was used to describe the Black Madonna, an icon used throughout history in multiple ways to describe and syncretize female gods across cultures.
In this work, the dove symbolizes these female gods, enshrouded in a dark, mysterious tableaux. A death's head adorned with wings reminds us that ages old questions may only be answered once we shed our mortal coil.
The Temples of New Plastic is a series of bronze sculptures of various sizes, approx. 8-14" in height. Three remain available, others are available by commission.
The concept for this series came from a dream I had in 1997, that showed how a new form of plastic would be invented that was organic and sourced from fungus. These structures would grow from the ground like mushrooms, could be inhabited by people, would be very low cost to create. When aged past their use, they soften and sink into the ground, to feed the next structures in their wake.
This form of technology would be an egalitarian civil engineering revolution, at a time when housing a rising population of people increases in difficulty. However forward thinking and advanced the technology to produce this housing, unrest remains the rule among ideologically divided groups of future humanity. Therefore, the windows of these buildings are armored windows, similar to the windows of ancient fortresses.