Octopus (height 74 cm)

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Project by refael posted 05-17-2015 06:50 PM 907 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Octopus    (height 74 cm)
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Every sculpture has its own story. Here are the story of the octopus

The Neighbours and the Octopus

Many of the tree pieces that I found were from the beaches of Ashdod. I lived in Ashdod for many years, not far from the sea, and would walk along the beach several times a week. During the winter, because of stormy seas and strong coastal winds, numerous uprooted trees are thrown ashore.

On one of these walks I came across a large tree resembling an octopus. I was impressed by its shape, but I wondered how I would transport it all the way back to my house. I sat down nearby and watched people strolling by and occasionally glancing at it. I realized that it was too big to put it into my car, but that my wife’s Renault 4 has a backdoor which may fit this large tree. I returned home quickly, and came back with the Renault 4 and my son. I hoped to do it quickly enough before the tree would be carried away by the tide. We carried it from the beach to the parking lot. We were able to fit the tree in the car, but we had to leave the back door opened.

We arrived to our residential building, a seven-story building with an elevator. We dragged the tree to the elevator but, because of its dimensions, the tree refused to enter the elevator.
What were we to do? I had to think. It seemed there was no choice – I would have to bring down my work tools and graft on the tree in the entrance area. But there remained yet another problem to solve; the work would continue for at least two weeks, so how would I reduce the chances that the tree would not be harmed or disappear?
I decided to leave it behind a high surface that was hidden from the front of the building but visible only from the rear. I tied it to a grid and hoped that nobody would notice it.

While working on the tree I realized that once completed I would have nowhere to place it. I looked around and decided to leave it in the center of the front garden of our building as a sculpture that integrates with the surrounding greenery.
However, placing it freely and directly on the ground may cause it to decay, or removed by anyone. So, I planned to install an iron anchor to attach the tree to the ground to keep it stable and difficult to extract. The work on the device was transferred to my brother in Haifa, who is an expert of such devices. And so a statue resembling an octopus stood at the front of our building.

After a month, a new, young tenant moved into the building. During our first meeting with him he told me why he chose to live in this building…it was thanks to the statue in the garden.”Neighbours who erect a statue in a garden,” he said, “are certainly cultured neighbours.”

The statue stood in the garden for over a year. The neighbours were content, and from time to time I would do the upkeep (grinding and lacquering).
One day I noticed that the statue was unstable and possibly cracked. I suspected that children were playing on it, causing cracks on the bottom. I realized that in order to preserve it, I would have to move it from the garden to my home. I had no choice but to cut its legs slightly in order for it to fit in the elevator.

Usually I worked on the trees in a small room at the far end of the apartment, but this time the work had to be done in the center of the living room. I remember this because, after a few days, the neighbour below us asked about the source of the noise he heard in his apartment. He wasn’t complaining, just curious.
The experience ended with one of the neighbours calling me the ‘Architect of Trees’.

-- Refael,

4 comments so far

View Tim & Candy Hicks's profile

Tim & Candy Hicks

332 posts in 3911 days

#1 posted 05-18-2015 05:47 PM

Really unique.


View refael's profile


152 posts in 1316 days

#2 posted 05-19-2015 09:46 AM

thank you for your comment

-- Refael,

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3068 days

#3 posted 05-19-2015 12:07 PM

Another very nice piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View refael's profile


152 posts in 1316 days

#4 posted 05-19-2015 03:22 PM

thank you again for your comments

-- Refael,

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