A Means to an End (Small Scale Model)

A friend of mine back in Pennsylvania has a virtual junk yard in the back of his house. It’s full of old trucks, rows of old unusable refrigerators and piles upon piles of scrap metal . One day while roaming through his “collectables” I found an old rusty sign. It’s the kind that has wheels on it and is used on the side of the road to advertise local business information. This one was in particularly bad shape and looks like it hadn’t been used for a long time (I attached a photo at the very bottom.) I inquired about it and he told me that he had all of the glass for it, all of the fluorescent bulbs that went in it and the letters for putting information on it. I started thinking that I would like to use it as a sculpture and took my time thinking about what I would want it to say. I decided on I PUT MY TRUST IN YOU which I felt had a couple of different meanings. For me it conjures up religious connotations and is often used in Christianity to refer to someone putting their trust in Jesus. I also like that the word “PUT” is both past tense and present tense depending on how the reader wants to interpret it. I felt that the sculpture was also about economic collapse since the sign had once been brand new and was emblematic of capitalism’s failed promise of prosperity. It was also about a personal relationship that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

I built this small model so I could mock up how it would look for a proposal that I was working on. I made the model out of small plastic modeling parts that I had. I found 2 sets of wheels and a base for it and glued it together. I used balsa wood to make the structure for the sign and glued part of an old clear tape case to it for the face. I printed out I PUT MY TRUST IN YOU on plain white paper, cut it out and taped it to the front. I made it clear so that I could shine a light through the back, creating the illusion that the sign lights up. In the end, I wanted the sculpture to be shown in a field in the middle of nowhere and figured that I would have to devise a way to use solar panels to power the lights. I never made the sculpture but I still have the model.

The title of the piece is from a Joy Division song. Here are the lyrics.

A legacy so far removed,
One day will be improved.
Eternal rights we left behind,
We were the better kind.
Two the same, set free too,
I always looked to you,
I always looked to you,
I always looked to you.

We fought for good, stood side by side,
Our friendship never died.
On stranger waves, the lows and highs,
Our vision touched the sky,
Immortalists with points to prove,
I put my trust in you.
I put my trust in you.
I put my trust in you.

A house somewhere on foreign soil,
Where ageless lovers call,
Is this your goal, your final needs,
Where dogs and vultures eat,
Committed still I turn to go.
I put my trust in you.
I put my trust in you.
I put my trust in you.
I put my trust in you.
In you. in you. in you.
Put my trust in you, in you.

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Filed under Sculpture, Small Scale Model

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