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“One of my goals has been to make scenarios that anthropomorphize birds in motion. Recently I’ve been devising poses in which birds perform dance moves. Co-action Affect is owls on Broadway.”
Transplanted Australian Dave Dando returns to Sculpturewalk with an arresting work that builds on his 2015 entry, Gangsta Raven. Again, avian figures are the focus; he ups the ante this year with three prancing, dancing, frenetic owls in multi-hued fabricated steel. The three sit offset on top of long slender poles of Douglas Fir, connected at a base made of the same wood.
“While I am still learning avian anatomy and movement, I attempt to anthropomorphize birds in motion,” he notes. “Co-action Effect is owls on Broadway.”
Dando’s trio of owls are certainly cutting a rug. Preening and posturing, with wings spread and feet clutching the top of the wooden perches, the three cavort crazily, a stark contrast to the uniformity and straight lines of the poles they dance upon.
His sculpture focuses on the intersection between the natural world’s inhabitants, degrees of domesticity and industrial, man-made objects. He feels that fabricated sheet metal, contrasted by milled wood usually, provides the best opportunity to achieve the desired juncture he seeks. It also provides the fluidity needed to realize the balance between liquidity and solidity found in the three subjects of Co-action Effect.
As he says, “I want the subjects to be graceful and fluid without easily enabling the observer to identify the materials and their origins. Form and proportion are important, but more so is the balance I hope to achieve in all my pieces.”
Dando has successfully conveyed the various balances he strives to convey while creating a beautiful sculpture. Wildly ragged in their form and motion but easily identified, the central figures are similar yet individually unique. They contrast and compliment the ten foot tall wood plinth each is atop, gleefully flapping their ragged, jagged outstretched wings.