the magic pumpkin

Cass Cafe Show (8)

Cass Cafe Show (9)

P7120128this is a large piece or art that i created this summer for a show about food that my friend bec was putting together.  it i s a hard piece to take pictures of because it has glass on the front and a light behind it.  so i will go through the technical details and then tell the story behind it.  it is  a 4 panel paper cut.  each panel is about 1 1/2 feet wide by 2 feet long.  all the panels are backed by translucent orange velum.  the front piece is an old storm door from my neighbors house.  the panels were designed to fit within that space.  the entire piece was put together by a friend of mine who has some carpentry skills.  he built the wooden frame around the storm door insert while i did the dishes at his house.  then together we sandwiched the art in between 2 large pieces of plexiglass and mounted the plexi behind the window.  the entire piece is about 2 1/2 feet tall by 6 feet wide.  running all along the inside edge behind the artwork is a set of LED rope lights to shine through the velum.  it looks much better when illuminated by natural sunlight but you work with the space you have.  so now on the story behind the imagery.  the panels are based upon a ukrainian folktale called “the magic pumpkin”.  it was hard to whittle the story down to 4 scenes and resulted in me having to cut out 2 characters.  so i will tell you my version of the story and then attach a link to the full story.  so here goes, there was once a very poor farmer who fell in love with a young woman, and they were married.  this young couple was very poor, and into the early spring of their first year of marriage they realized that they had no seeds to plant.  they felt hopelessness and despair knowing that they would starve that winter.  they at least had shelter, and within that shelter a group of swallows had built nests all along the eaves of the house (panel 1).  one day a strong wind blew through the house knocking down all of the nests in the eaves.  all of the baby swallows came tumbling down to the floor and died.  all except one small one who had merely broken his leg.  the young couple picked up the baby bird and bound his leg, and then nursed him back to health.  once the baby bird had healed and grown large enough to fly they released them and wished him well.  after a few days the bird returned to them and laid three pumpkin seeds upon their doorstep (panel 2).  the couple were filled with joy at this new bit of luck.  they planted the seeds and watched as they flourished  and grew.  never had finer pumpkin vines been seen, they were lush and green, dotted with large yellow pollen laden flowers.  the vine flowered and flowered and eventually produced three fruit.  the couple nurtured the fruit and watched them grow.  and grow they did becoming so large that it took 2 people to even roll them (panel 3).  finally the fruit were ripe and the young couple went out to the garden and together rolled all three fruit inside.  the man took an axe to the first pumpkin and split it straight down the center and all manner of food burst forth from the pumpkin, enough food for their entire village, so no one would starve that winter.  the second pumpkin was also split down the center and clothes burst forth, more than two people could ever wear and these were shared amongst the villagers also.  finally the third pumpkin was placed on the chopping block and once it was split gold poured forth so the young farmers were no longer poor, and neither was anyone whom they knew, as they always remembered being poor and were most generous (panel 3).  ok so that was my version that i adapted to fit, but here is the real story, the magic pumpkin .  this belongs now to patrick as he asked for it for his birthday.

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Filed under dreams, food and farming, papercut, Uncategorized

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