Favourite Things #74: Hanabi Skytree
Artist's notes on style, materials and inspiration:
Tokyo's organic, ever-changing surface means that there is always something to see and feel whilst wandering - it continues to hold my attention like no other place.
This tall and elegant 'favourite thing' girl is inspired by a building that was an icon from the minute it appeared on the Tokyo Landscape. She has been styled in her blue colourway with fireworks going off all around her!
Tokyo Skytree is the tallest structure in Japan at 634 metres tall - 'structure' because its main use is as a television and radio broadcasting tower rather than a building, but it has observation decks that give a dizzying view of the surrounding landscape and has a lot going on in the building at its base. It is the world's tallest tower, and the third tallest structure. It was designed by architecture firm Nikken Sekkei Ltd and has sophisticated seismic proofing which can absorb 50% of the energy of an earthquake. It was built and is owned by the Tobu Railway Company.
According to the Japan Times "the height of Tokyo Skytree — 634 meters — has symbolic meaning for the area known long ago as Musashi, covering Tokyo and parts of Saitama and Kanagawa, because the figure’s syllables can stand for 6 (“mu”), 3 (“sa”) and 4 (“shi”)." The landscape that forms this part of the region was known as the Musashi plain.
It is in a fairly low rise area, traditionally sprinkled with craftspeople and tiny workshops; it fills the view at the end of some of the surrounding streets in a surreal and amazing way; it is built on a really odd piece of land where several train lines converge - the structure itself starts out with a triangle in plan, which gradually morphs to a circle higher up to help with high winds.
The distinct latticework frame is painted "SKYTREE White", an original colour based on "aijiro", the lightest shade of Japanese traditional indigo blue (it's basically white with just a hint of blue). The colour represents "the legacy of Japanese traditional craftsmanship as conserved in the downtown area housing the tower."
The tower is lit by LEDs at night in two alternating colour ways - 'iki', a chic sky blue colour and 'miyabi', an elegant and refined purple.
My 'favourite things' wood girl series share the places and things I love, a favourite motif or theme, or are inspired by a microseason. Turned from American Tulipwood, a sustainable and interestingly grained timber, the pieces are turned by a production wood turner in the UK to my designs, then added to and painted by me, a British artist. They are finished in a matt acrylic protective top coat.
This very tall wood girl is approximately 40cm in height. Favourite Things girls are numbered on the base, this one is #74.
My pieces are painted in a naïve and simple style, with visible brush strokes and differing paint consistencies. It is important to note that these dolls are made from real wood which will have naturally occurring markings and grain, and sometimes there will be small amount of bleeding along the grain, or knots, which is to be expected when using untreated wood - please make sure you consult the pictures carefully before purchasing.
PLEASE NOTE: Wood girls should be kept away from water which can damage the wood and painted surface, and also away from direct heat/ sunlight which also can affect the surface colour and the timber itself.