The Frog Monument of Spring

Some creations are weirder than others. Sometimes they just are, for no particular reason, and something they have a backstory to explain things up. This is one of the latter. The frog monument was built for my LUG Palikkatakomo's HupiCon contest with theme of Monument (it was organized by me, and I came up with the subject, too). The frog itself is a copy of actual sculpture completely detached from the context. The original one hold up a bay window on Lääkärien Talo (Doctor's house), a jugend (art nouveu) style apartment building in Kasarmintori, Helsinki (the exact address is Fabianinkatu 17). Lääkärien Talo was designed in 1900 by Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen, the most prominent architect group of its time,  and it was a paragon for apartment architecture during the following years. The building was one of the first to abandon horizontal lines on the facade. The walls were plastered with only few ornaments - some goblins, gargoyles, squirrels and most importantly, a frog size of a small man hanging on the central spot. It has a navel, which is rather unusual for an amphibian. You can see some photos of the building I took last summer at the end of this post; It's quite fantastic. Finnish architecture of the time was original, light-hearted, beautiful and sometimes even humorous; It's full of joy rarely seen in architecture (I should graduate as an architect in two years).

So the Kasarmintori frog hangs here on this monument. I just wanted to build a copy of it, in somewhat large scale. I'm happy I managed to use several odd parts, like the windshield as lower jaw, octagonal frame pieces as flippers and Toa Mahri mask glasses as parts of the arms. Boat stud eyes were a natural choice, and 3x3x2 rounded quarter slopes made rather pleasant knees. It's quite sturdy overall.

The back wall is yellow to mimic the plaster of the original building, but when I finished the frog, I didn't really know what it would hold. One idea was that there would be a lookout balcony for visitors, but making stairs on the back would have made the composition bit messy. What I ended up was a bunch of flowers in various colours. Flowers are pleasant and symbolize nice things like life, spring, beauty and love. They are also plants that have bright colours to attract insects to pollinate thing, which is a cool system of nature and deserves a though. Plus it's May now, the May Day exactly, which means my semester is pretty much over (still few lecture diaries and one model though) and that is rather good thing. Very good. The MOC was completed three weeks ago, of course, but it doesn't spoil the timing.

The base is very simple so it wouldn't hog the limelight from the frog. Earlier versions featured some grass, paved paths and a little stream coming under the little arch near the base, but they tied the composition too tightly into minifig scale, and weren't that well designed, honestly. I think few simple elements - monochrome frog sculpture and clean shapes of the yellow wall and the grey base in contrast with the randomness of the flowers worked well in the end. I got third place in both audience and LUG member voting (LUG voting being a tie). There were 16 entries and quite a lot of variability between the two voter groups - the first in both categories didn't reach the top three in the another. My frog appealed the both groups pretty well. Feel free to analyze that, then.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.