cameron eaton
 

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2012 Things with Tentacles

The population explosion of the Humboldt (or Jumbo) Squid off the west coast of America has been reported widely over the past decade. And while the stories are perhaps a little over dramatised, they're certainly scary critters. Anecdotal reports exist of Mexican fisherman being taken from the boat while fishing late at night. Or, while attempting to make the swim back to shore, being swarmed upon and eaten alive. At two metres from tip to tip and around 35kg each they're formidable enough. In a school, it's easy to imagine the squids killing potential.

 

THE MONSTERS WE MAKE
hand carved hebel
20x20x60cm (each)
2012

Tentacled monsters have inhabited the nightmares of seafarers for centuries. Adorning maps and inspiring horror stories, the giant squid has long been a symbol of fear. Early whalers, witnessing the scars adorning the flanks of their kills stood humbled but in reality we've never had much to fear from these denizens of the deep. Till now it seems. Opinions vary as to the cause of the explosion of jumbo squid numbers, from global warming to over fishing. Whatever the reason, the realisation of the squid as man killer may well be our own doing.

     

SQUID IN A BOX
ceramics and plywood
35x35cm
2012

Author Ken Macleod, in his Engines of Light series, imagines giant squid as highly intelligent beings, plucked from the seas of earth and enlisted as navigators operating interstellar space ships. They communicate like the giant cuttlefish of the southern ocean with strobing lights and a kaleidoscope of coloured patterns constantly rippling along their flanks. They engage in complex relationships with each other and the human and alien passengers they co-habit with. I'm a great fan of Ken Macleod's work, this series and other books.

Physical examinations of recently dead giant squids have revealed they in fact have very small brains for their size and are unlikely to engage communally in any way more complex than their smaller cousins. So they remain just monsters.

     
SQUID IN A BOX
acrylic on board
60x90cm
2012

 

 

 

     

NOT WELCOME HERE EITHER (left)
pen+ink on paper
70x50cm
2012

 

SQUID IN A BOX (top right)
lino cut
21x20cm
2011

MESS-O-TENTACLES (bottom right)
pencil on paper
50x70cm
2012
     


cameron eaton
 

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