Beth Cavener's Snake and Rabbit Sculpture
The link above takes you to a website with many detailed photos of Beth sculpture. At first glance of Beth's sculpture of the snake and rabbit called, "Tangled Up in You," I thought that the snake was eating the rabbit. I love shark week and watching National Geographic episodes where animals attack their pray, so right away I thought this was the sickest! The first time I saw Beth's work was in class, and now that I got to see it at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, was unreal! I was star struck! I was shocked at the sheer size of this Sculpture. It's probably a 5 foot by 4 foot sculpture suspended above the ground by about 4 feet. Just the construction of this piece makes me wonder, "how the hell did she build this thing?" When I look at sculptures first I wonder the process on how the artist constructed the piece. If I can't tell right away than I'm impressed. Beth built this sculpture out of solid clay and than cut it into pieces and hollowed it out. Than fired it in those pieces. Next I think about their glazing techniques. What glazes did they use? What temperature was the piece fired to? Beth had Alessandro Gallo paint the snake. The snake has reminiscent of traditional Japanese tattoo art on it. I really like that she collaborated on this piece. The tattoos on the snake complements the texture of the rabbits fur. I love Beth's fur texture. It is her own style that I haven't seen it done as good as she does. She has other pieces with the same texture, and I want to touch it so bad to see what it feels like! I bet it's amazing. Once I think about all the sculptural and constructional details, I start to break down the piece and think about it conceptually. I look for clues to see what kind of message Beth is getting across. Looking at the label and the title of the piece is the first clue. I feel that not too many people look at the labels of the pieces. "Tangled Up in You" makes me think that the piece is about embrace and nurturing. The rabbit is not struggling, the rabbit looks relaxed and content. The rabbit is in the process of stuffing his face into his stomach to get into the feudal position and curl up. Even though the snake is biting the rabbit, I think that it is one of those love bites. Ya know like a cute little nibble. Some would think that it's an actual bit that supports the fact that the snake is gonna eat the rabbit, but bitting the shoulder isn't an aggressive move for the snake. The snake most likely would be rapped around the rabbit more than it is. The snake is in more of a cradling position. I really like what Beth Cavener is doing and her piece, "Tangled Up in You" is still my favorite ceramic piece of all time.