Odd figurines kept turning up on our pebble-strewn beach. The tide would go out, we’d go for a walk, and we’d see something protruding from the sand – a little arm or a head, the trunk of an elephant . . . Our conjecture is that these objects were thrown into the sea as votive offerings by those we called “The Reef People,” the denizens our neighboring seafood restaurant, and had some symbolic meaning in connection with whatever religion they practiced.
We decided that they should be repurposed as elements of sculptures. Most of them were extremely worn by moving around, tidally, among the sand and stones, or corroded by the saltwater. They all seemed to have some sense of mystery about them.
Our football player and blonde girl intrigued us for years before we found a beautiful quartz-like stone on the beach, and placed them side by side in front of it on our deck, standing on a worn piece of flat micaceous rock. We ended up making the girl into a fairy princess by standing her in an oyster shell, like a “Venus-on-the-half-shell.” After a time we realized we had a sculpture, and named it according to the strange sense of the presence they conveyed. The piece lived in various outdoor places, most recently in our back yard, against a brick retaining wall. The figures kept falling over, and we’d stand them up again, trying various versions of posing them. It was a little like playing with dolls, but . . . strange dolls.
We finally decided to give it some permanence by fabricating a sandbox from wood salvaged from the pallets of concrete that were brought in to rebuild our seawall after Hurricane Sandy. We filled it with sand from the beach we found them on, intending to somehow glue them in place in their ineffably strange poses against their “special,” glistening rock. Because the stones were so heavy, and tended to shift slightly, we concluded that they should remain “loose,” and be posed at will.
Whoever is in possession of this sculpture will find that they are involved in a strange sort of ménage-a-trois with the two figures, with their beady, lifeless black eyes staring into space, together yet apart with their weirdly outstretched arms, occasionally falling over and having to be re-posed, with every different positioning making a subtle shift in their relationship.