Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tiki Lamp [neptune]
The tiki lamp in this instance, is a relatively small cylindrical object. It's form mimics that of a totem pole or of an ancient polynesian tiki god idol. Their culture was polytheistic and highly permeated with ideas about each god and their place. Tiki figurines and statues were thus adapted and made as religious icons. In polynesian mythology Tiki was the name of the first man to exist. He was the originator of proceeding generations, thus the way that the tiki face, and styling is fashioned into a lamp, is a very appropriate adaptation.
This artifact is formed into a lamp of sorts. It is constructed of hand carved tropical mango wood, and polished with an antique, dark stain. The center is hollowed out by hand to allow a small lamp to be inserted in it and provide a small amount of light that passes through the mouth and eyes. This use of the design of the exterior of the object really marries the form with the function in this instance; the shape of the face, dictates the amount or quality of light being emitted, and also the mood which the lighting sets in the space being occupied by this artifact.
The composition of the carving is arranged in a symmetrical fashion across the vertical axis and is predominantly shallow relief sculpture. This gives the entire piece as a whole a subtractive nature, one can almost picture the piece of wood before the artist cut into it; it's shape and form are retained. All the decorative flourishes and carvings follow the features of the exaggerated face, this directs the eye to the center of the composition and it's subject: the face, and ultimately the light inside.