Food Chain

1993, Bronze, 15lbs. 24″H x 30″W x 18”D

Food Chain represents the links between species in the cycle of life. Even though only three species are represented, the subject of the piece is the entire cycle of life itself. Additionally, the concept of “land, sea, and air” makes it’s way into the composition as represented by the crustacean, fish, and bird. Since “spiny” lobsters, such as the ones down in Key West, don’t actually have claws, it’s hard to imagine them in direct competition for fish or raptors for survival. However, it is interesting to note that many of the supposed “lower” life forms in the cycle of life are the most crucial to the ecosystem. The lobster balances this whole composition with one claw.

 My mom, Linda W. Curtis, holds a certain notoriety as a well-respected botanist and published author. She researches and discovers plants in the most unlikely places, and then she publishes her findings to much acclaim. At one point in her career, she had colleges and universities across the nation inviting her to be on the lecture circuit to teach their students how to find and publish discoveries of their own. She turned them down to be a mom to us kids. It left a large impression on me to know that there may be so much left in the world that is still unknown and that there are scientists willing to go to great lengths to discover it. When my brother, sister, and I were growing up, we received a tremendous education learning about all the natural sciences from our mom. We spent a lot of time out in nature, and on many of our long walks, Mom would point out to us the scientific names and classifications of all the plants and trees within eyesight. Mycology (the study of muschrooms) was of particular interest to me.   

One of the fundamental principles of omnidirectional sculpture, similar to mathematical expressions, states that if any part of the equation is wrong, then the whole thing is wrong. Sculpturally, if any of the visual angles or lines in the object are weak as you move around it, then the overall composition is weak. To be successful ‘in the round’ is exponentially more difficult to achieve than with traditional work that may have formal front and side views. As one moves around this piece, the arc of the fish changes in interesting ways, as do the angles of the raptor’s wingspan. The shadows that form from light on this piece are intriguing as well. Subjectively, the piece represents the perfect balance and harmony found in nature. Objectively, it accomplishes the perfect balance between subject and form.