This lively and hilarious fish sculpture, A Fish Called Wander, made me laugh out loud when I encountered it on my friend Helen’s balcony the other day. The fish stands about 18 inches high and was made for Helen by her friend Gaile Froese. Helen is an incurable hiker who knows all the trails in the mountains behind her home (and everywhere else in the district too) so Gaile used a map of the area as the base of the sculpture and added a perky little bird. The fish is wearing hiking boots, and on one side of it we see a belt and buckle, a backpack and a GPS. On the back are a couple of tiny pockets, a star badge and a ragged fin; a more outlandish fin protrudes from each side.
This crazy piece of art reminded me of the joy of creating things for people we love: I could picture Gaile laughing to herself as she added all the funny details that she could use to express her affection for her friend. It’s also a tribute to the ability of the imagination to pull together disparate objects or ideas (one of which might be an oblique reference to my mother, Wanda, who has helped Helen out a couple of times over the past few years) into “something completely different.” Yes, this is a Monty Python reference and it’s spot on for this piece.
And now for something completely different: