Sightings of elusive creatures of the sea were interpreted as glimpses of the spirits guarding their domain. A glimpse of the Philippine “dugong” (manatee) or “butanding” (whale shark) was seen as a blessing and a warning for fisherfolk to respect the ocean, strenthening the indigenous people’s relationship with nature and promoting sustainable practices. This work is a re-deification of these enigmatic creatures, a reminder that the power of the ocean resides not with man but with the ocean and its creatures, that it sustains us depending on the reverence and respect we give it.
The arched shape of the tail reminds me of a powerful wave, part ocean part living being. I see it painted predominantly in the colors of the ocean. It will be textured with crystal like the sun reflecting on the ripples in the water and surrounded with wire and/or filament sculptures of starlike droplets splashing skyward from the tail. Finally, the sculpture will be endowed with sea-motif tribal patterns reminiscent of the mystical tattoos of the precolonial Philippine “pintados” and discreetly placed prayers to the spirits of the sea written in baybayin, the ancient Philippine script.