A carved serpentine vase, conical in profile with flared rim; frieze of a standing kilted god or hero with horned headdress and hatched hair, grasping in each hand the neck of a rearing serpent, each with gaping mouth and slender protruding tongue, elliptical panels in two lines to the body; supplied with a laminated card clarifying the design.
Items such as this were produced on the island of Tarut in the Gulf, close to the Arabian coast. The carving is known as the Intercultural Style and combines stylistic elements that are paralleled in eastern Iran and western Central Asia with iconography that derives from, and mingles, those of Mesopotamia, Iran and Harappa. The figure is most commonly described as the ‘Master of Animals,’ a hero figure that is associated with the control of the chaotic forces of nature as represented by wild animals. vessels such as this have been found at religious sites, such as the temple of the moon god Sin at Khafajah.
When a mini garden is done right, the plants feel grown in, not stuffed in, as if they have adapted to each other’s shape. This feeling is partially an illusion based on the care given to the initial positioning, but there is so much more to it. These are time based sculptures, so we think ahead, drawing on deep experiential knowledge of the differing habits, light responses, and growth rates. Lastly, we prune, pull and adapt as needed. Nothing is ever finished, but rather meticulously “caretaken”. By attending to these details, you set up the garden to grow into a pleasing, symbiotic whole.
Mini garden by Jon Schwark
Pottery by Conrad Gendron