The Malus are a collection of chimera-like beasts ‘uncovered’ from apple branches. Their Latin names are taxonomic; the first part identifies its dominant chimera attribute and the last their origin wood.
You will notice that there are a number of different animals, the main group are the Draco Malus or Apple Dragons. Other individual beasts include a Polypus (octopus), Cervus (deer), Porcus (pig), Lepus (rabbit), Cornix (Crow) and even a Suricata (meercat).
I use the word ‘uncovered’ because I try to refrain from cutting into the wood too much. Instead, I go through a process where chip and sand away the layers of bark trying to keep as much of the integrity of the original piece; then carve, whittle and shape its features to enhance the found form.
Anyone who works with wood knows that once you’ve made a decision you have to
‘see it through’, whether it works or not. This is certainly true when you’re teasing out the form hidden within the wood, rather than using it as a medium to impose your vision. One cut can take it off in a completely different direction.
A couple of things worth noting. Firstly, a crucial part of the process is the actual finding of the pieces of wood. In truth it’s an art form in its own right; see for yourself on my blog page Hunting The Malus. Draco Malus One and Two, like driftwood, were offcuts from pruning on an orchard floor. The rest I had to find, spot the potential amongst the tangle and cut from trees that had been grubbed up and scheduled for burning.
Secondly, each piece is a ‘one-off’; I may be able to repeat the process to a certain degree, but the likelihood of finding two bits of wood that are the same must have odds up there with winning the lottery.
In some cases, I have only worked one side so that I can keep some semblance of the original form on the reverse. This will have some meaning and relevance in my proposed kid’s book. If you want to find out more about the process involved see my blog page Uncovering The Malus.
I was recently invited to show some of The Malus in a local art exhibition at the Singing Soul Gallery.
For more information about my work, or enquiries about prices and purchasing please contact me either on 07921 439425 0r email@example.com.
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