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Mosaic Sea Turtle

Medium: Ceramic, Bonding Cement, Stryofoam, Wood Pebbles

Size: 18” x 120” x 144”

Featured at ArtFields 2017

Artist Statement

Paula Smith

Rock Hill, SC

Mosaic Sea Turtle was first conceived while delivering my Mosaic Hand to Honey Horn Plantation for a Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island, in SC. After installing my work I visited the gallery to have a look around. I noticed a small sea turtle in a glass aquarium. I went over to visit him and he followed me as I moved around the glass enclosure. We had a moment of connection; he was speaking to me if you will or maybe he was just looking for some food. Either way, I thought, "I need to make a large scaled, stylized sea turtle sculpture that everyone can enjoy and interact with." This moment of inspiration is how most creative acts start. Throughout history and the world, many cultures have associated the turtle as a symbol of longevity, protection, stability, and good luck. Many cultures have associated the turtle with the great mother creation myths and in our current day culture, it has become a symbol for environmentalism. There is evidence that turtles have been around since the days of the dinosaurs. There are many efforts being made today to help re-populate sea turtles and get them off of the endangered list. I put faces on the turtle so that we as a society can relate to this endangered animal. There is a "Where's Waldo" interactive aspect incorporated into the piece. Where is the horse tile, where is the dragon fly tile, etc. I also made it 18 inches high so it is a bench height. You can sit on it. I want it to engage a sense of curiosity.

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