A new one-off piece from Paul Spooner – 2021
This piece was intended as another in the series of figures tumbling in a rotating box (cf. “Lytton Strachey trying to get comfortable” c. 2019). I made a box in which I meant to trap a cat and three pigeons. With plywood on the back and glass on the front, I meant to churn it from behind by means of a simple mechanism. It was to be called: “A Cat with Pigeons” and take a couple or three days to make. Then I found that the cat jammed in the box even before the pigeons were added. Making a bigger box would have spoiled the effect so I kept the cat and threw the box and pigeons to one side.
I made a new box from some off-cuts of cedar cladding left in the road by someone who had probably just built a garden shed. It was very roughly sawn but when planed it showed a beautiful figure and smelt heavenly. The cat, now pivoted about a central point on its belly was just able to swing in the box without catching.
I still needed pigeons so I made three with hinged necks and arranged them in a gable above the cat so that they could peck downwards towards it. The mechanism is mostly made from mahogany, another fragrant material donated to me by a man who caught his son using this slab of beautiful timber as a bench for mending motor bike engines.
I like the things I make to have some rationale or story attached to them and only when completely stuck do I resort to categorising a piece as “Folk Art” which suggests that it’s been made as part of a tradition whose original meaning has been lost in the mists of time. This piece just avoided that fate when I thought of calling it “An Interview”. Now it makes perfect sense
H 370mm x W 220mm x D 130mm