Monday, 25 April 2016

This Chess Piece

Lets see how clearly I can think about this chess piece

What a dude he is.

Ok the staring eyes are always the first thing, are they intended to feel staring or is it just the style of the culture? We don't know but the omni-presence suggests its a cultural thing.

Second thing; the dotted circles and the eyes, these are the same thing. Is that deliberate or just a convenience of form? Is this a creature with many eyes?

The triangle-face outlined in sharp strokes to emphasise its shape and then the strikes across the triangle. What does this tell us about the face? Is it a war face? Is it an armoured mask? Is that a furrowed brow indicated by the second line on the upper side?

The slumped strong shoulders. The roundness and irregular curve.

Is this guy wearing clothes and are those triskelions of eye-shapes the memories of decorations or do they indicate some kind of armour or amulet?

The crosshatching around the bottom, is that a belt or the hem of a dress or the hem of a tunic?

How does he make you feel when you look at him? Strong. solid. Impassive or at least, immovable. Not directly-threatening. Slow. Like a living shield and perhaps his face is a shield, and hes kind of cute, and depending on how you think of it, a little scary, especially if that is a shield-face with eyes. He feels very alice-in-wonderland, that mixture of playful and spooky.

What are the lines doing?

The lines falling down across the shoulders are telling you that they are shoulders, the curve of the plane to the top is not allowed to fade into insignificance they imbue with humanity, they emphasise masculinity and strongness. They tell you this thing/person is wearing clothes.

Probably those eye triskelions are telling an anglo-saxon audience something pretty culturally specific, and maybe quite 'unimportant'.

what about the shield-face lines?

They break the triangle into the three-thirds of the human face, here the eyes somehow must be eyes and nothing else. The downward slant, like an arrow or a slice of pie cutting into the general form. What does that do? Cutting into the curve, emphasising the breadth.

Rosie says she thinks this is a sheep and hes humble and those are his arms and he probably works in a shop or something and goes and gets your order and brings it back without looking you in the eye.

Because the face looks sad.

The crosshatched band around the bottom, giving you the rim. Sealing it to the board.

I'm looking at this guy, trying to unfold the mystery of the figure, the reason for the shape, when for the person that made it everything was simple and clear

You make it round like 'this' to hold it, you're carving it in your hands so you know when it feels right. You put the triangle in there, maybe the shape just wanted to be a triangle. You put lines in where it seems like you would need some lines and then its done, and you know when its done becasue its very clearly done.

Put it down on the table, there you go. Whatever is informing you about the correctness of the piece it isn't coming in words or in any kind of abstraction its a form-lead form, it has no explanations to make, it has no particular answer to give, it just is, where it needs to be.

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