Stones and shells on pedestal with vinyl text on wall
40 x 50 x 150 cm
Copyright the Artist
Simple and earnest in appearance, ‘Octopus Stone’ brings together several of the key themes in Shimabuku’s oeuvre: discovery, chance and re-appropriation. The stones in this work are collected from the...
Simple and earnest in appearance, ‘Octopus Stone’ brings together several of the key themes in Shimabuku’s oeuvre: discovery, chance and re-appropriation. The stones in this work are collected from the seabed, but unlike in Shimabuku’s other artistic projects it is difficult to say exactly from where and for how long. This is because the stones have been gathered by a myriad of octopi who by their very nature have a habit of gathering stones and shells. In Japan an ancient method of catching octopi, still in use today, relies on leaving clay urns on the seabed that the octopi then start to use as shelters. When these urns are brought to the surface we are offered a glimpse into a curious sub-aquatic world. As Shimabuku explains in the wall text that is part of the piece:
Octopuses have a habit of picking up stones and shells from the bottom of the sea. When you pull up an octopus pot, you find octopuses embracing things like this. Sometimes the pot is full of stones and shells. Some octopuses like stones, and others like shells. And I like collecting these things from them.
‘Offshore: artists explore the sea’, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 1 April to 28 August 2017
‘Aquatopia’, Tate St Ives, 12 October 2013 - 26 January 2014
‘Aquatopia’, Nottingham Contemporary, 20 July - 22 September 2013