Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Hitchcock’s Tarot Movie

 I see now that Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” is replete with Tarot Symbolism and more….  

Vertigo is based on a French novel entitled “D’Entre Les Morts” (“From the Dead “) by Boileau and Narcejac  ..... a successful  French crime-writing duo. The original plot is set in Paris and Marseilles during wartime. Marseilles of course is the name given to a famous deck of Tarot cards.  But there is of course more to it than that tenuous link. 

The name of Kim Novak’s first incarnation of the lead character (whose real name is Judy)….. is Madeline which means “woman of Magdala “ or “Magdalene“, …and the name Judy (related to Judith) means “woman of Judea“, so really these two women were always one and the same. 

The link to Marseilles of course is also fascinating for another reason. It is near Marseilles at Sainte Boheme that the grotto of Mary Magdalene can be found where she is believed to have lived out her life as a teacher of the gospel after she came to live there with her child when she emigrated there arriving at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the southern French coast after the Death of Jesus. 

This small village is famous for celebrations that takes place there every 24th and 25th of May and  the Sunday in October closest to the 22nd . This celebration is a gathering place for the Gypsies more often referred to as Romani now or “Les Gitans”, the travelling  people of Europe who celebrate their own origins.  For they believe they are descended from Egypt from a dark skinned woman known as Saint Sara who travelled in the boat of “The Holy Mary’s of the sea” from Judea in around AD 30 approximately. (Though there is dispute about which Marys visited and how many there were, the processions themselves focus on two)

The word “Gypsy“ comes from an abbreviation of “Egyptian”. Indeed the travelling people were famous for popularising the Tarot Deck through fortune telling.  I have not looked into that matter in detail yet. But it is another unusual link, one of many that can be uncovered when you visit there and see the dark figure statue of “Saint Sara The Black …(Sara la Kali)” depicting her likeness dressed in white robes in the church named after The Mary’s of the sea 

But Hitchcock became aware of some of the other subtle allusions in the novel as his American film shows…… The film depicts a number of cards from the Tarot. These are primarily  The Fool, The Empress, The High Priestess, The Star, The Emperor, The Tower, Judgement, Death, The Lovers, The Hanged Man and The Hermit. 

Scottie, or John the detective is “The Fool” and this reference comes up several times.  First in his failed attempt to leap to the rooftop resulting in the death of a cop who he was helping while chasing after the criminal who was fleeing capture. This trauma results in his vertigo or “acrophobia” which he tries to overcome later by standing on a yellow high stool . Again he fails to cope with the height falling into the motherly arms of the High Priestess, Marjorie. Marjorie means “Pearl” 

He only seems to be able to deal with the height in the final scene and in particular the very last scene were he appears on a ledge at the top of the tower looking down at his lover who has tragically fallen below.  His pose and stance is very similar to The Fool Card in appearance . He appears  perfectly framed in the archway, another recurring symbolic image throughout the movie. The colour of yellow as in the background is often found behind him as in the card. The High Stool is also yellow. He also holds a walking stick reminiscent of the Orion or “O“ card a reference to zero, its number in the pack. He is called “Johnny O” by Midge on numerous occasions and also “Johnny boy” a reference to the youthfulness of that joker card. The fool card  is also known as the joker.  Scottie appears beside a painting of a little boy blue in the gallery also

This film is about our wandering detective (this is how he describes his daytime activities on a number of occasions ) eventually discovering the path of maturity and his ageing process is also referred to with the walking stick and his retirement. 

Marjorie “Midge” Wood , Scotties ex-fiancé  plays the part of The High Priestess and The Magician  throughout the movie. She correctly predicts that only another serious trauma will cure him of his vertigo. She appears framed  seated between the two wooden beams of her studio window as the high Priestess with a shoe in her hand  (an esoteric reference) and a cloth draped over her knee just like the card. She has Scotties best interests at heart but cannot help being unhappy at his relationship with Madeline. She knows before anyone that Scottie is in love with her. Scotties asked her not to mother him. In her Magician guise she appears at the Artists table as an artist (first as a designer and then as a painter holding her wand , or paintbrush). She sees the danger of the story of Carlotta before Scottie does. (Carlotta Valdes name in the original novel was “Pauline Lagerlac“) Her nickname “Midge” or first name marjorie may be a play on the word “Magician”. 


His love interest “The Empress” Madeline (Judy), who appears to be married to “The Emperor” of the shipbuilding industry who has gotten his wealth through his marriage  (Gavin Elster ( Ulster ?) ). He is the mastermind behind the plot to involve the reluctant Scottie in his scheme.  He sits in a red coloured chair evoking the red outfit of the Emperor. Judy appears later in the movie in her apartment at “The Empire” Hotel. Like the card she is shown surrounded by plant life in the flower shop scene and the graveyard scene. She is often dressed in striking green as when she appears in the red walled restaurant and she drives a green car. The green car may also be evocative as the green background to The World card which may be even  another of her incarnations. 

But Judy has a number of guises. She controls Scottie and lures him in on behalf of Elster into his web of deceit . But she also appears as the Star when she is rescued from the water in her feigned suicide attempt. After this She is undressed by Scottie and wakes up naked as the young woman who appears beside water in the Star card.  There is another scene when she appears beside a twisted tree against the backdrop of water. This is also consistent with the tree in the star card .   

There are numerous occasions when Madeline is surrounded in green, once she appears as an ephemeral and faded figure in grey with blonde hair when she appears in her Madeline guise after being convinced by Scottie to dress up as her again . She fades into the scene in front of a green shaded   room with a special effect created  by Hitchcock to make her look as if she is floating there , ghostlike. These green scenes are meant to evoke her appearance ,,  inspired by “The World” card.  Once she is profiled as a silhouette completely surrounded again in the frame by the green curtain behind her. She is also surrounded in Green when she drives her distinctive green car.

The Hermit was harder to create a case for, even it if seemed obvious that the hermit would be the bookshop owner who fills them in , as is the Hermits role, on the story of Carlotta thus placing them within their given roles. But I could see no reference to a lantern. But I did notice that the bookshop photography was incredibly dark . I wondered that it looked like simply poorly lit bad cinematography. However I was to receive a pleasant  surprise when the friends left the dark book shop and they are momentarily framed by its window behind them . Suddenly as if the bookshop owner switches it on , the electric  light brightens up the whole scene  seen through the bookshop window. This in a figurative and imaginative way is the equivalent of lighting up a lantern . A number of lantern forms appear throughout the movie. One, can be seen behind Scottie in some scenes in his apartment and we also see that lantern featured in views at night outside his apartment. 

The Judgement card makes its appearance when Scottie is heavily criticised at the hearing. A group of figures , the jury appears framed above the table with the Judge appearing enlarged as in the card in the foreground to recreate the group of figures rising from their graves in the card. Behind the severe Judge is a flag in white and red stripes very similar to the flag in the card.  Even Gavin Elster himself criticizes the severity of the judgement . 

The Round topped tower from which two figures eventually fall mimics the appearance of the tower in that tarot card . Depicted  there are two figures falling also. Madelines tower, where she twice falls to her death also has a special reference to those familiar with places in France that keep the account of her marriage with Jesus alive such as The Tour Magdala at Rennés Le Chateau for example.  

A prominent feature of the Death card appears halfway through the movie, when before Madeline falls from the tower she is shown the full sized white or grey stuffed horse from her dream , a dead horse!  Scottie stands beside it hinting that he himself is her Death as indeed he eventually becomes as she appears to fall from his arms in the end scene when a dark figure appears at the top of the tower from the shadows appearing to scare Judy into loosing her footing and causing Scottie to lose his grip upon her, allowing her to fall to her true death this time. 

The question has to be asked how does this apply to the Dan Brown-like reference about Mary Magdalene. ….   Was it Hitchcock communicating to the initiated, the “brotherhood” teasing masonic secrets, or did it serve a deeper psychological subliminal purpose for the public. My guess is the latter…

The arrival of the Nun in the end scene is extremely important and very much in line with the anti clergy messages apparent in early French surreal movies which influenced Hitchcock greatly such was L’age D’Or by Dali and Buñuel. She appears as a shadow in the room and effectively signals the end of Judy’s life startling Scottie and her and perhaps causing scottie to let go of her , letting her tumble out the window.  When I was young I found it shocking that the nun, a religious figure , would be, even in an indirect way party to Judy’s death. But as I see it with my adult eyes of course it may be symbolic of the orthodox churches treatment of the Mary Magdalene Story. Mary Magdalene has been effectively wiped from her place in the bible and cast as a prostitute, a thing which may actually be historically inaccurate.  Mary Magdalene may have married Jesus and may have had a child with him as the gypsies memory and celebration of The “Marys” arrival at St-Maries-de-la-Mer hints at . Judy’s  character is very different to Madeleine’s . She says she has been “picked up” before hinting at her dubious morals and humble origins. When we see her first she looks like a gypsy with the wide skirt dark skin and hair  and large round earrings in her ears. She arrives in the companionship of two or three other women. Sometimes in a gypsy-like fashion she even tucks a scarf in her belt . 

But she is a very different character when she plays the part of Madeline. She is refined elegant and respectable. This reflects the Magdalene story which is in fact a story about a woman’s repentance. She changes under the influence of Jesus . Even though to be thought of as a prostitute during the time of Jesus did not mean you were necessarily an actual prostitute. There is evidence from the Bible Story and bible academics that Mary Magdalene was shunned because she had had an affair or perhaps had been a “kept woman” and was not a prostitute in our understanding of the word.   

The point I’m making is that The Orthodox Church as represented by the figure of the Nun in Vertigo rejected the importance of many women’s depiction in the Bible. It certainly fails to portray a complete story about Our Lady and it dispels the importance of Mary Magdalene by casting her as a prostitute and….. apart from her moment of repentance cleaning the feet of Jesus washing them with her tears and wiping them with her hair along with her appearance at the tomb…. she plays a most minor role . She is in effect wiped out by the orthodox memory of her existence . It can be interpreted that the woman of Judea, Judy,  is wiped out by the official church. As her life is wiped out by the startling presence of the Nun in the tower scene. 

I believe Hitchcock is paying tribute to the  so called “apocryphal” stories pointed out by gnostic beliefs that she was an important figure that had married Jesus, that she had a child for him and had escaped with that child and some members of the family of Jesus to the south of France which was a Roman province at the time known as Septimania which eventually becomes part of the region known today as Occitan.

All of this attention placed upon the roles and the power of women cast in Hitchcock’s mould of them in his movies is legendary but ironic given that his treatment of his female leads in real life is famously misogynistic and abusive. Look at Tippie Hedrons well documented experiences of her lead roles in ‘The Birds’ and ‘Marnie’

His view of the Magdalene Story that he has encoded into this work is laden with an unsympathetic view of what it means to be a woman. He is certainly irreverent and his innuendos sometimes stand up very poorly indeed to the test of time . Particularly the distasteful discussion about the bra at the beginning of the movie between Midge and Scottie. However it is easy to revise Vertigo in hindsight and forget the values of that time that passed by as being well integrated into the audience’s sensibilities of the 50’s. 

But Hitchcock’s potential as an Artist does show through in this movie. Parts of which are most painterly and his ability to weave symbolism and intertwine it with modern imagery does capture the imagination and stimulate the eye in a way that owed much to the surrealist movies of Cocteau , Dali and Buñuel. The dream sequence is not designed by Dali as people often seem to think but is in fact by John Ferran. But Dali was employed to do the dream sequence in Hitch’s “Spellbound”. 

Hitchcock’s aesthetic style at times comes across as deeply surreal. He uses the surreal to evoke fear and a strong emotional response. His interests, though more commercial, do utilise the shock and awe visual effect as a device to bring about cathartic change that awakens the mind of the viewer. This is the exact same aim such as those expounded by the “Theatre of Cruelty” produced by surrealist / avant garde artists of the  Alfred Jarry Theatre and  written by Antonin Artaud.  (Artaud himself came from Marseilles and has links with Ireland.).   Hitchcock’s own aims might be summarised by Artauds manifestos for “The Theatre of Cruelty” which he wrote in a sad state when he returned from Ireland after which he spent most the rest of his life in asylums 

"It was at this time that his best known work The Theatre and Its Double (1938) was published. This book contained the two manifestos of the “Theatre of Cruelty” There, "he proposed a  theatre that was in effect a return to magic and ritual and he sought to create a new theatrical language of totem and gesture – a language of space devoid of dialogue that would appeal to all the senses."[23]:6 "Words say little to the mind," Artaud wrote, "compared to space thundering with images and crammed with sounds." He proposed "a theatre in which violent physical images crush and hypnotize the sensibility of the spectator seized by the theatre as by a whirlwind of higher forces." He considered formal theatres with their proscenium arches and playwrights with their scripts "a hindrance to the magic of genuine ritual." 

When one thinks of the prevailing and intense atmosphere of Vertigo . The above description could actually be a description of that movie itself, right down to the “swirling eye” / Saul bass vertigo space created as part of the title sequence and Scotties dream. There in that dream we see Scotties image become The Hanged Man card as the animated figure…. which rather than suspended by a rope is suspended in the nightmare of the “whirlwind of higher forces”.

Sean O'Dwyer 31 Oct 2020

Appendix 1

The above cards are from the Pamela Coleman designed Rider/Waite Deck I would suggest they they are the actual cards Hitchcock visualised into his productions particularly as regards his use of colour symbolism

The Original Book upon which the screenplay is based can be read here….. 


The Gypsies Pilgrimage


Appendix 2 

The film is like a series of moving Tarot cards. The Imagery especially with the Star Card (17 rider/waite deck) is actually gotten by connect three different scenes in the movie. I saw the movie many times before waking up and seeing the movie for what it truly was.   

The Tarot may also of course have been part of a template to help Hitch make his movie and script . This is not unusual for directors to refer to the Tarot in filmmaking and some have used it as a template for their ideas as the recent movie "The King of Cups" would show .  ......


The purpose behind the motivation to release this information in quite a subliminal way: There is plenty of evidence for the use of subliminal messaging in advertising in the fifties. In advertising the purpose is plain…. To sell products (that of course are all part of the plan to create a consumer society ). But Hitch was deliberately creating this visual experiment to influence minds and awaken them to non orthodox esoteric values.  Hitch certainly wanted to have a freer society from a sexual point of view . His work on Psycho is a particularly good example of this and then his work on the most shocking “Frenzy" presented some alarming and at the time original ideas as regards filmmaking and its presentation of sexuality ( In it the killer is a  filmmaker and a voyeur). 

Social Engineering: Its hard to create an argument when it might be hard to prove that hitch was deliberately not only making subliminal messaging but also a party to a more sinister motive generally abroad and paving the way for the " New Age" promised by the forthcoming  sixties.  What I really mean is that is that Hitch was involved with creating social influence ( or a form of social engineering which is highly unethical and actually an abuse of power  ) and a transmission of non orthodox ideas (No harm in some non orthodox ideas). But I do feel Hitchcock saw himself as a filmmaker/ educator and trained as such being used to generating propaganda during the war. He knew what the deeper meanings of his work meant and how these symbols work upon the mind.  He has a history in this form of film making. 

It should be noted that Hitch had a link with the intelligence services:  "Before Hollywood dubbed him the "Master of Suspense," Alfred Hitchcock made anti-Nazi propaganda films for the British Ministry of Information. Some of his work from that period, including "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and "Saboteur" (1942), enjoyed wide release, but two of the films — "Bon Voyage" (1944) and "Aventure Malgache" (1944) — were deemed by ministry … officials "too subversive" to serve the allied cause and remained in storage until the 1990s.”


Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Goodness Of Rembrandt: On observing the etchings of Rembrandt at The National Gallery in Dublin July 2022.

 PART 1:  A Quick Background to the Context of Rembrandt. 

There was an idea propounded in Baldesar Castiglione's writings known as "The Book of The Courtier". (A renaissance treatise on what might be required of a Courtier). This idea was that somehow Grace, defined there as "Gods gift to mankind" could be contained or expressed through an artwork in some way. What an Idea. Could such a thing be possible? 

Baldassare Castiglione Not by Rembrandt but By Raphael 

The conversations in this book, which sometimes quoted Raphael and referred to his paintings ( an artist who Castiglione knew personally and had paint his portrait) ..... were concerned with the idea that art could contain or at least point one towards goodness by passing on the effortless grace through the artist into the painting and on to the viewer this extension of Gods Gift.  (Tap on images to see them in more detail ) 

Raphael's work was held up for many years to be a perfect example of this idea along with all things believed to be good about the rediscovery of the qualities of classical art. Indeed the academies of the arts around Europe held up his work to young artists for a number of centuries as the ultimate achievement of this endeavour, this aspect of art.  

"The Taking of Christ" by Caravaggio from the National Gallery Dublin Collection 

In time Caravaggio, a baroque artist was also was held up as an example to follow, his style acquiring a whole group of artists who would come to be known as the "Caravaggisti " (Baroque is the name given to the époque to follow that of the High Renaissance. Take time to have a look at "The Taking of Christ " by Caravaggio in The National Gallery as an example of this and other ideas. ) 

We recognise the Caravaggisti by the way they treated their subjects in light, mostly with a dark background. This dark background was dominant because artists by this stage were often secretly using the camera obscura to help them set up the stage for their work and create compositions that made the figurative subjects come to life, lighting up, as it were, the darkness directly from the reflected light observed on their skin and clothing for instance. 

The Transfiguration by Raphael featuring the predominant use of chiaroscuro which was to become the visual trademark of the Caravaggesti 

This painting and drawing technique known as chiaroscuro, which was part of the mannerists skillset actually goes directly back to one painting in particular created by Raphael known as "The Transfiguration" Believed to be his very last painting before he died. " (A full scale and very good copy that used to hang in the National Gallery "Shaw Room" hall is sadly now returned to to the archives. This is the hall that features the "Marriage of Strongbow by Daniel Maclise whose work here was influenced by Pre-Raphaelite ideas )   

"The Transfiguration" contained a scene in the lower section where Raphael used the effect of figures emerging from the darkness which was probably the style that Caravaggio chose to emulate the most and use to become his own signature effect. This he did with great success though not without a lot of opposition. 

So why do I mention this when talking about Rembrandt? Well Rembrandt was a follower of this style he was a Caravaggesti himself. Though he is regarded to have brought it to a whole new level which makes light appear to glow in his painting in a very convincing way. Also his version of chiaroscuro was much more freely applied and quickly rendered as indicated by this incredible facility to use brush marks (and drawing marks) and a deliberately limited palette to create a sense of material volume.  He also does this by using impasto and a build up of glazes to create highlighted areas.

The idea that light had a symbolic meaning as well as a physical one permeates the work of Rembrandt. "The Light" in Rembrandt's paintings I would argue, has a symbolist intention. It is a Lux that shines through the work and expresses a desire to portray the Divine, the ephemeral and ineffable... a mystic inclination.  I would like to refer to to one image in the National Gallery Exhibition as a very good example of this inclination. An inclination to express goodness as the all important idea. 

PART 2: Now where is the goodness of Rembrandt? 

(Briefly first . If you want to know what an Etching is . Here is a very good link,  a description of the etching process tused in Rembrandt prints in the Dutch prints exhibition at the National Gallery’s drawing and print room at the moment in Dublin. )


We are very lucky to have some beautiful examples of Rembrandts etchings in this exhibition. What is it that makes him so special? 

With Rembrandt apart from his sheer talent and drawing facility which I know are the most material aspect of his gifts …. what does strike you about even the nine or ten works you can see in Dublin is the choice of subject matter.  To choose one work as an illustration ….

The Annunciation to the Shepards: The Etching by Rembrandt mentioned here. (Tap on image to see more detail. 

At the heart of Rembrandt is a down to earth emphatic and passionate humanity which he even brings to imaginative religious scenes. When the angel appears to the shepards. They are so scared you would think they are about to be abducted by a UFO!!  The animals are freaked and are not hanging around, being shown dashing away at full pelt along with one of the shepards with large grasping hands reaching for escape as he runs for his life. 

Rembrandt : One of many self portraits with his characteristic hat . 

The shepards, who Rembrandt sees as being other Dutch workers just like himself, dressed like shepards he sees in his own everyday life…. are blasted in the darkness by this intense radial light  which, when you look at it closer, is actually made up of a myriad of little perfectly rendered cherubs. 

The angel appears lower than this light in the scene solemnly makes his annunciation. He stands on a cloud that hovers above the river, where is portrayed the silhouette of a bridge in the distance.  On it stands a lone observer.  This seems to be a symbolic image …. a man on a bridge making a crossing as this significant moment is happening,  an intimate but profound piece of news .   On the other shore can be seen, dimly back lit by their campfire, are gathered  the wise men perhaps?  And way off in the distance is the dimly lit town of Bethlehem. 

Set below a beautifully depicted  blasted tree surrounded by hedgerows and remnants of another old tree. ….is one shepard alone who provides us with an all too human look of shock, surprise, praise and confusion in what to my mind must be a mini portrait of Rembrandt who is the central actor in the scene.  Wearing his characteristic hat we have seen many times in his many self portraits, this Shepard looks out towards us rather than at the Angel who he has already observed along with the other two of his companions. 

He is either shocked at one of them, who runs away toward us ominously towards a calm seated goat in the foreground ( a symbol perhaps for the momentary triumph of fear over courage ) ….. or he is registering his awe at the scene that he has just witnessed. Either way he manages to portray both expressions instantaneously.  Here is Rembrandts goodness of spirit . 

It has a comedic effect. It made me chuckle when I saw this. Here is Rembrandt himself making his choice and recognising the mixed emotions experienced at first, then he has capped  that with happiness at the outcome while seeming to exclaim himself …...  “This is great news dear God …..and why are you running off mate ?  “ 

As the animals, the cattle and sheep nearly run over each other trying to get away. A lone figure , the third shepard emerges from the dark cave of his sleep to awaken to the commotion.  Another animal that is courageous is the sheep dog who stands beside his watchful master. 

Here are three different responses each encapsulated by one of the Shepard’s.  This is the whole of mankind’s response. Rembrandt humbly plays the central role…. seeing himself as one of these men hundreds of years ago who witness this scene.  He shows us in a mirror, a view of ourselves as funny in the face of a heavenly vision, lovable and familiar, almost foolish but steadfast in spite of ourselves. Lucky enough to be a witness but surrounded by chaos and fear.  Another aspect of ourselves portrayed is the lone figure in the platonic cave of the mind looking out from the darkness into the hopeful light of the future. The potential questioning mystic perhaps? 

As for the fearful figure running towards the goat, he will see his mistake soon enough and reappear at the scene of the nativity to join his other two companions. He will recognise his mistaken but natural inclination and despite it will come back with his friends and view for himself the hopeful  miracle of a new born baby.  He will reappear in Rembrandts painting of the “Adoration of the Shepards. “ this again emphasising this radial Rembrandt lux but this time it appears to come from the figure of the baby Jesus. Even though it is light rendered coming from a candle and holder in the hand of Joseph beside the child.   

The Adoration of The Shepards A painting by Rembrandt, showing the central shepard with the large hat again featured 

This mystical radial light of Rembrandts work seems to express this goodness and lends to us the ability to see the meaning and potential of humanity within visions of spirituality. Again therein lies his goodness to my mind. 

All of the above acid-etched into copper and printed on paper no bigger than an A4 page in which he has encapsulated this heavenly vision. 

Within the limits of this material medium what more could be shown to be good? 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Is Sculpture?

Sculpting. The artist at Play?
(A presentation introducing sculpture to students of sculpture course)

Calder at Play
The Basis of sculpture is play. Its remembering when you were a child and remembering the feeling you had when you were immersed in your own world of make believe. I was 12 when Star Wars came out. I must have made models and drawings of every spaceship and character in the film. I used cardboard, toilet rolls, kitchen rubbish bottle tops, biscuit tins, old damaged toys, wire, airfix model kits, bostik glue, and just about anything I could get my hands on. I made my own fully functioning light sabre out of kitchen paper rolls painted silver and a detachable bamboo stick painted with luminescent paint.

Making sculpture is based on the same impulse that wanting to make your own toys as a child is based upon and we can see this very clearly in this video of American sculptor Alexander Calder demonstrating his circus.

I saw this in the Whitney museum in New York when studying as an art student many years ago. It had a profound effect on me. You can see that all of Calder's "serious" sculpture emerges from this way of working and thinking. Its a completely natural way to think and be. Its naive and beautiful, it is innocent and charming. In many ways it is childlike. Being a sculptor means putting yourself in touch with this side of yourself. Your inner child. Being an artist means getting to know yourself. Everything you do as an artist emerges from this exploration. We depict an inscape of that world. This video delightfully shows an artist lost in themselves and contrary what we might expect when watching an artist at work, here we directly benefit from watching a theatrical display of this process in action.

Calder is true and honest in the portrayal of this inner action and we can only be delighted by the display it produces.

I remember as a child when I was ill I had a little jotter that I filled with small copperwire drawings selotaped into the pages. I didn't know I was making a transition from 2D to 3D. I was just doing something that came naturally to me. It was only years later I saw the wire sculptures of Calder

If you want to explore a simple way to make sculpture try it for yourself. Get a pliers , snips and any wire you can find, (strip down electrical cable if you need) and see if you can make forms that are familiar to you, a household pet, a farm animal or even a self portrait... It is a wonderful way of exploring most basic way of describing shapes and volumes. Recycling found materials is best. Maybe like Calder you can add different things like cork and wool to make these shapes even more alive.