Sculptural Replica of Swans Reflecting Elephants

   by Carrie Niederberger for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937)

Inspiration Artist: Salvador Dalí

I started by using the box that we received and I peeled the top layer of paper off of it. I later used these strips of paper to papier-mâché with glue and water. Next, I measured and drew on the plywood. I extended the larger piece of plywood with two more pieces of plywood (one on each side). This is where the mountains of rock were built. I painted on it as well to make the reflecting elephants. The background sky was made with the canvas board, two pieces of plywood, leftover cardboard, and the canvas cloth. I glued everything together and smoothed over the bumps with the modeling clay. The sky was painted with acrylic paint. The clouds were made out of modeling clay. I attached them to the sky background by putting wire though the back of the clouds and poking holes in the sky background. I pushed the wire sticking out of the back of the clouds through the holes in the sky and sealed it with more modeling clay. I realized the clouds would be too heavy to glue. In order to make the mountains, I cut and bent the cardboard with a box cutter and glued the bottoms sparingly to the canvas with the glue stick. If there were parts that were not stable, I used the modeling clay to affix it by smoothing it into the surface and the base (plywood). After covering the cardboard with papier-mâché, I primed it with white paint. In order to carve out texture for the rocks, I used the modeling clay on top of the mountains and carved out nooks and grooves. I used the steel wire to make the trees and covered them with clay. I also used the modeling clay to make the swans, clouds, and the man. I unraveled the rope and spray painted it red for the fire. The tiny flag was made out of scrap canvas cloth and painted red. Everything except for the fire was painted with acrylic paint.