Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Dundee Dragon

The most recent piece of sculpture I have turned my Artistic eye to is the Dundee Dragon, just outside Waterstone's (formally Ottakars, and formally Pottakar's during a recent Harry Potter promotion).

The story goes that in times of old, a Dundee farmer sent his daughter down to a well to fetch water. She never returned so he sent another daughter who also failed to return. Thus he sent another daughter who did not return either. Rather than go down to the well to investigate his daughters' disappearance himself, he sent all nine of them down to the well one after the other until all were lost.

Well, as the title of this tale is 'The Dundee Dragon', some readers may have guessed that the cause of the daughters' vanishment was that a dragon had devoured them all with no small amount of greed. A hero was called for who, after some difficulty, killed the beast, as heroes typically do.

To commemorate this dragon, the city of Dundee commissioned sculptor Prentice Oliphant to create a statue in its memory. Oliphant's Dundee Dragon is designed to be interactive: children are welcome to clamber over it, pensioners are encouraged to sit on its snout and enjoy a rest, city workers typically grab a quick lunch leaning against its wings. A particularly ingenious aspect of The Dundee Dragon's interactivity is that when a button under its chin is depressed, a brief flame eminates from a tiny tube concealed in the tip of its mouth. Dundonians can frequently be seen using the sculpture's intriguing mechanism to light cigarettes, cigarellos, cigars, and pipes.

I have ensured that my drawing of the statue shows it being used as the Artist intended. I am very happy with this drawing and do not think that there are any contemporary Artists operating today who could do better than me. I hope people viewing the drawing at my street artist stall will agree with this assessment, for I mean to charge £20.00 for this one.

The Dundee Dragon

My drawing of the Dundee Dragon, featuring a young Dundonian lighting a cigarette

2 comments:

H. insciens said...

Well thanks for explaining the dragon to me, after I noted and "photied" it today. I have put a link to your explanation in the 2nd comment of my post at:
http://hinsciens.blogspot.com/2011/01/dundee.html

Google usually comes up with the goods (and in this case the bonus of a nice image of a Dear Dundonian lighting a fag :)

Rob Cruickshank said...

I was always under the impression that the dragon was produced and designed by the great sculptor Alistair Smart. Unfortunately he sadly passed away in June 1992 and one of his students Tony Morrow actually completed the project.