My work often reflects my sense of humor, and contains twists or discoveries for the viewer to find and enjoy. 'Jeu du Chat et la Souris' is an example of that - starting with the title itself. I don't speak French, but the idea of the title for this 'Cat and Mouse Game' being in French seemed playful and like part of the game. Of course the most obvious element was the fact that the game pieces consisted of 2 teams, one of cats and one of mice - what else could you do for a game of cat and mouse? At first glance they appear to be all different, but on closer inspection there are only 3 mice and 3 cats - the positioning and relationships between the figures creates the impression that there are differences. The positioning of the game pieces and the visual conversations created by those positions was important to me. (This has created a bit of frustration on the part of viewers, as most want the opportunity to rearrange the pieces on the board...they are firmly attached. Creating this 'frustration' was also part of my 'game'.)
On another level (literally), I created a second front of activity on the shelf below the game board with the game pieces that surround the white box. Again, I wanted to create visual conversations between the pieces themselves and also with the box. Having the box lid partially askew was part of the conversation. I wonder if the various attitudes of the pieces (curiosity, reticence, indifference, timidity) reflect viewers reactions to the artwork...or to the unknown in life in general?
My final play of the game was to set a trap (yes, literally) under the game table...a mouse trap, complete with cheese wedge.
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Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.