Joy of Living
J.Potter Private Collection,
Joy of Living
HEIGHT 5FT STAINLESS STEEL 1993
"The feel good factor" Carpe Diem
In this sculpture I try to capture the happiness that is so often expressed by dancing. In modern terms `the feel good factor'. The delight in being alive.
Many years ago when my wife and I were staying on the Greek island of Samos, we were taken to an open air restaurant in the woods. The tables were set around a very large circular concrete dance floor, and the band consisted of four or five musicians playing Bouzoukis, the Greek version of the guitar. Fire flys blinked their mating signals at each other in the thick dark woods that surrounded us. It was a magic atmosphere.
Chains of up to 10 or 15 dancers circled on the floor behind the leaders who set the step with the beat of a white handkerchief held aloft. When the handkerchief dipped, the whole line followed with a bow. The Greeks had been dancing to the same music for thousands of years, and you could sense the antiquity of the rythm.
I watched as one of the diners rose from a large boisterous table of revellers, and walked across to the leader of the band, spoke to him, and then walked to the centre of the floor. He stood alone, head bowed, a white handkerchief hanging from his right hand. One of the bouziki players started a slow melancholy tune, and the man started to dance. All conversation from the surrounding tables had stopped. Apart from the music, and the tap of the dancer's shoes, not a sound could be heard. Very slowly the music started to quicken, and a sense of well being seemed to radiate from the man. Faster and faster, still one dancer and one musician, and all else silent, until with a final burst of music the man seemed to explode with joy, then stood still, leaving behind him a calm sea of silence, before a flood of cheering and applause filled the air.
The two men, through dance and music, had displayed the "Joy of Living". Hopefully my Symbolic Sculpture has captured some of the same joy, and the spirit of that magic place and moment.
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