Tuesday, April 7, 2009

3 Random Interests Reflected in my Art

1. Galapagos Islands. One of my dreams is to sail to the Galapagos Islands and see the Blue-Footed Boobies.When I was little by brother, an avid bird watcher, taught me about these unusual looking birds.

Using clay I made a visual of my traveling dream, in the form of 5 pin Canadian bowling set. The bowling ball (not pictured) is of a blue egg.

Elizabeth Symington, Blue Footed Boobie Pins, 2005

approx. 12 inches tall

2. Juggling clubs. The Summer of 2008 I learned how addicting it is to juggle balls. Since then, I've moved up to clubs! My favorite things to juggle are three random objects that aren't meant for tossing around, like a penny, deodorant and a measuring tape.

Making clubs is an ongoing pursuit of mine. This bottle cap club is the first prototype. After extensive testing I learned that the caps crack after repeatedly being dropped. From there I used a handle from an antique fishing pole. There's no spindle on the newer clubs, but instead a comfy cork like handle, topped with a bowling pin sandwiched between two laundry detergent caps. I've been juggling with this fish pole club and it has held up for months now.

Elizabeth Symington, Bottle Cap Juggling Club, 2008
wooden dowel, found bottle caps, bowling pin

standard club size

3. Knitting with Atypical Materials. This hanging light derived from a previous art installation where I knit slipcovers out of various super fuzzy yarns and clothes line.

Using circular knitting needles made out of polymer clay and duct tape, I've knit elastic into many Cactus Lights. The lampshades vary for each light, since they are plastic or rubber cups scavenged from thrift stores. The tedious part is stringing the Christmas lights through the knit elastic. The reward is seeing the patterns dance on the walls, while swinging the Cactus Light back and forth.

Elizabeth Symington, Cactus Light, 2009
4 feet
black elastic, rubber and plastic cups, Christmas lights

Having random interests gives variety to my art dense life. A lot of time they come from wishes and dreams, like wanting to be able to read books in Braille. It is rarely intentional to incorporate the hobbies as subject matter into my art. Instead, they are fresh in my subconscious and sneak their way into my sketchbooks.

Yoga, sushi or fencing hasn't made it into any of my art yet. We'll see when they pop up!


  1. Hi Elizabeth and thanks for looking at my site. Very much appreciated as an early blogger!
    I like the energy that your site conveys which I guess is a reflection of your personality and I like the way these ideas have been extensions of your interests. To me they show, real commercial potential. I really like the cactus lights.I hope all is going well for you. Cheers

  2. You will love the Galapagos Islands because it is the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of exotic species (birds, land animals, plants) not seen anywhere else. The landscapes are also out of this world.