The sculpture
The image seen when looking up the "pipe"
"The Home of the Warbird"

This work was constructed out of steel, copper, aluminium and barbed wire, woven together with coloured synthetic twine around a mild steel frame securely fixed to a steel plate to which the swivel mechanism is secured.  An image of a fireman in the WTC collapse of 2001 that can be seen when looking up the inside of the "tube".

 

This work may look like a monstrous 8-foot (2.4 m) high phallus, but is in fact my inaccurate recollection and rendition the nest of the Greater Masked Weaver bird of Africa.  This bird builds its grapefruit-sized nests on the ends of the fronds of willow trees overhanging rivers, lakes and dams.  When a predator tries to attack the nest, its weight on the springy frond pushes the entrance of the nest under water and in most cases stops the invader from entering the nest. 

 

Another interesting thing about this bird is that the male builds the nest and when it is completed, calls in the female to inspect it.  If she approves then all is fine and the process of procreation begins.  But if she is not satisfied she rips the nest apart and the poor eager male has to start all over again.  The nest material is grass and leaves painstakingly gathered by the male from far and wide.  This material is pretty much lost when it lands in the water at the time of the demolition.  So there is a pretty strong incentive for the male to get the structure right first time.  

 

This sculpture is not a particularly political work (none of mine are).  But the thinking behind it is rather complex and might be seen by those who are preoccupied with metaphors as having something to do with the USA.  This perhaps exacerbated by the image inside the "tube" of a fireman fighting the fire at the time of the collapse of the World Trade Centre in September 2001.  However, that might be a bit too specific an interpretation, as I did not intend this to be a comment on any one group or country, but rather of hubris in the western world in general.  So I prefer to see this work as being an allegorical comment on the irony of the way complacency creates a false sense of security which in turn leads to the sudden need to fight fire´┐Żoften with fire.  That is a delicious irony.

 

Other interpretations of this sculpture might include the matter of our western society's tendency to excessive use of inappropriate materials in our headlong dash down the consumerist path.  Not that I am either proselytizing a cause, nor for that matter am I in any way innocent of my own excesses, but it seemed to be an interesting comment to link by contradiction, something in nature and ourselves in this way. 

 

There are other readings of this work that one might make with some justification. On the other hand, one might just enjoy the visual impact of this large work and ignore all else. That would be my suggestion to the viewer.