Ghosts of Kitchens Past: A Tooled-Up Horse Sculpture Escapes from a Wall

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Sometimes an image comes along at the right time. You'll be lazily turning the pages of a book, or browsing around the web, and you'll see it.

And sometimes it will jump right out of a wall at you.

And that's exactly what Sayaka Ganz's artwork does. Perhaps a painting will jump off the wall into your line of sight. Sayaka's horse jump out of the wall.

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And each step you take closer to it increases your sense of wonder. What unusual materials were used to create this sculpture?

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As you can see, Ghost is a construction of discarded kitchen tools--heavy on the spatulas, slotted spoons and strainers.

The old nursery rhyme about the dish running away with the spoon could be taken literally here--except no dishes are allowed. Only spoons and their brethren tool family members.

Through some sort of artistic magic, Sayaka endows everyday, discarded kitchen tools with a sense of motion that no gait analysis system can even measure. Her horses embody motion. They gallop with just the right degree of leaning when they land on a fore foot. Their heads are at just the right heights. Their ears are pricked--what are those ears made from, I wonder? Could that be a garden trowel?

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"I create organic forms with thrift store plastics," Sayaka Ganz says in her biographical artist's statement.

We'd ordinarily say that a horse is made of muscle and hoof and ?blood and heart. But this one, called?Night, has a throatlatch and poll made from salad serving forks and men's store hangers and lots of other things. They hang together in mid-air and urge the horse into perpetual--and graceful--motion.

Sayaka Ganz explains her fascination with an homage to her Japanese roots: "I was born in Japan and spent my early childhood there. Japanese Shinto beliefs are such that all objects and organisms have spirits, and objects that are discarded before their time weep at night inside the trash bin, or so they teach children at many preschools. This became a vivid image in my mind."

She continues, "I use kitchen utensils, toys and metal objects and appliance wire, among other things. I only select objects that have been used and discarded. My goal is for each object to transcend its origins by being integrated into the form of an animal or some other organism that seems alive and in motion. This process of reclamation and regeneration is liberating to me as an artist."

It is liberating to me as a passive observer, too. It is so hard to capture horses in motion. Sayaka Ganz's horses don't seem to even try to represent the motion of real horses. They just are in motion, as the continuing recycling of these lost-and-found objects seems to hit a stride with perfect timing, in the endless cycle--and recycle--of life.

I'll never take a spatula for granted again.

Relief photo by Jon Fife/j / f / photos.

Video courtesy of Sayaka Ganz.

Sayaka Ganz's work will be part of the group exhibition titled "Untamed", at the Craft Alliance at 6640 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130 from January 13 to February 28, 2012. Although no horses will be in that exhibit, don't worry--all her creations are fascinating.??Sayaka's set of four kitchenware-based horses, called Confluence, is in a private home on the Isle of Man in Great Britain.