I approached this panda with a very loose plan at the start. I wanted it to be big and round. Now that I have my basic shape, it’s time to add clay. I still have no specific vision for the final piece. I’m asking myself, “So, what am I making?”
I took a photo of the bear armature (pun intended) and, using my iPad began drawing concepts on the photo of the armature. This was a fast and painless way to flush out several ideas and get a ruff vision of the piece. The Panda told me he was a humorous bear and wanted to make a playful statement.
Then I recalled this term I’ve heard recently called “a banana skin moment.” … and connections began forming in my mind. Flashes of people making colossal mistakes. The concept of pride, embarrassment, and the wisdom to laugh at ourselves when we fail miserably. I pictured the Warhol Banana representing the “mass consumption” of a fruit grown in the southern hemisphere. The exploitation of people and resources due to the banana trade. The mashup of the words Panda + Banana = Pandnana
It was a rush of ideas and at the end, it was clear that I would be sculpting a ‘Pandnana’ – a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously. At the end of the day, we are highly evolved monkeys, addicted to bananas and slipping on their peels.