Sunday, August 31, 2008


OK, This is how my dreams have passed for the last few weeks... I am back in N.Z working for uncle Matt Paku and Lincoln Paku my best mate fishing for eels. Every eel I take from the net looks me directly in the eye and winks. I can see the creatures long sleek lines. I can see the bunched muscle of the jaw line and the thin membrane of the fin attached along the powerful tail, twisting and curving. Purpley black, green and yellow, shifting and glistening with movement. I look down to see my eels pouring from a huge hole in my net bag, all escaping to the running stream next to me. I leap onto the nearest one and try to wrap my hands around its thick body. The eel squirms and curves trying to escape my grasp so I tighten my grip. As I squeeze harder the head pops off! There is no blood, just clay. Miraculously as I release my grip both the head and the body do a wriggly dance together, reattach and with a shifty smile and another cheeky wink it disappears into the waiting waters. I wake with a sharp intake of breath to find its still only 5am and I have 2 hous to kill before breakfast.

For the last 6 weeks this sculpture has been my life. It seems to consume my every waking moment and most of my of dreams. 'Hinaki' was my own special Olympics. Every hurdle was a marathon effort. One by one the sculptors around me finish their work while my piece seems to go on and on. With help from Han Lu (art tutor) I requested more helpers from the committee and eventually enlisted extra help from four sculpture students. Cao Nan (big brown eyed girl), Qi Chang Chun (shorty), Zhang Peng (Jail Break) and of course Yang Wen Jian ('Chou' aka kung fu master to some, the 'round boy' to others). During the last week, as well as starting early and not taking a lunch break (to the extreme dislike of the sculpture committee) I was staying for an extra 2.5 hours until 8pm. By the time we actually finished sculpting four days ago, everyone was exhausted. What was once a busy workshop full of sculptors and their work, was now empty. Of all the sculptors I was one of only a few left working. It was such a relief to finally finish. Now the technical stuff begins - mold making. To be continued.....


marpak said...

congratultions on finish
hope dreams are more peaceful for next stage

Ann and John said...

Well Done Sam!
We think your eels are brilliant.Lots of love best wishes to you and J9,
from your ancient relatives,
Ann and John
in North Yorkshire, England.