|Stary (Old) Marych – ready for winter|
The statue, that I’ve seen a hundred times, has undergone a change and is now ready for our cold weather. Polish-born crochet artist, Agata Okesiak, has brought her “No Women No Art” festival from New York City to Poznan and has totally covered this bronze statue of an old man and a bicycle in a crocheted afghan, tailored just for him and his bike. I’m sure large sections of this afghan were pre-made, but the fitting would have required much of the work to be done on the spot. I can’t help feeling the ache in my fingers and knees – thinking of her kneeling down, crocheting the bronze into this custom blanket in our 30 and 40 – something temps. (Don’t miss my update for the rest of the story on this piece of art.)
The statue (not the crochet) is the result of a competition held by a local newspaper. They asked their readers to vote for the local figure most deserving of a statue. The winner was Old Marych – a fictional character on a radio program. Marych was a story teller who spoke in the local dialect. The most deserving local figure represented ordinary people rather than someone famous.
I wonder how the metal artist felt about this commission. No one can say with certainty what a radio character looks like, but everyone has a picture of the character in their mind. Would an artist feel like they had great leeway or like they could never meet the multitude of expectations?
In case you’re wondering, here’s a picture (from the internet) of the statue minus the custom blanket.