Portrait of Ebb with Kamon

⊛  Portrait of Ebb with Kamon  
⊛  cut paper / hubcap (fiberglass?)  
⊛  hubcap-sized  

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn) - Pete Seeger, from the Book of Ecclesiastes, as sung by The Byrds

The spinning of a wheel, the spreading and curling petals of a flower, the encroaching and receding tide; patterns mesmerize me. The often-colliding patterns of man and nature are among the most fascinating, pushing and pulling at each other in a constant state of unrest and upheaval.

A few months ago, gifted and magnanimous paper artist, Béatrice Coron introduced me to Landfillart.org, an organization which is encouraging ecological thinking via the recycling of over a thousand hubcaps into original works of art. Given the recurring themes of cyclical nature in my work, I had to take part. Plus, turning an old hubcap into art is just so cool.

The circle of the hubcap-canvas became the primary design element in the work.

That shape repeats in the patterns of ol' Ebb's clothes, the shape of his hunched shoulders, and in the overall flow of the work. Not to mention the kamon.

Kamon are elegantly-designed, highly-stylized Japanese family crests.

There are a lot of them (the website is in Japanese, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying it). The only things that fascinate me more than patterns are symbols (and metaphors, and folk tales, and fables, and fuzzy bunnies... but I digress). Marrying the circular symbolic kamon to the cyclical wheel to the recurrent tide seemed a natural (if somewhat polyamorous) union.

The kamon, in this particular case, are the calm and raging sea (top+bottom left), an Ouroboros eel (bottom right), and the morning glory - which has about a million different metaphorical meanings, my favorite being its cycle of endings and beginnings.

The LandfillArt project is still looking for artists to mangle and re-shape old car parts. While you're there, check out the 800+ cool pieces already completed (mine is on page 17 right now). Some other angles: