I have been fond, for many years, of quoting Quentin Crisp:
"It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying "Really I was meant to be a ballet dancer." By that time, pigs will be your style."
Sixteen years ago, I celebrated my birthday with my casting tutors [Jonathan & Adrian, are you out there somewhere?] by taking a road trip to the Cotswolds. We drove through the rolling hills, waved to sheep, and admired the drystone walls. Then we toured the Pangolin Foundry, an activity we used to call "sniffing bronze." We admired the equipment and studied welds and molds intently. Meanwhile, we tried to guess the recipes of the patination formulas in which Pangolin specialized then and now.
On the way home we visited the stone circle in Avesbury, then I watched Cumbre Flamenca at Sadler's Wells. Now that is a birthday!This weekend, as I prepare to celebrate another birthday, I stumbled across a lovely story in the Guardian: an artist who defied Quentin Crisp by running a pig farm well. His sculpture is primarily of the domestic animals with whom he has worked for years. And where is it cast and patinated? Pangolin, of course.
"After 25 years of farming in Cornwall, Terence Coventry's love of art took a surprising new form. Now, as a sculptor of bronze and steel fresh from his first solo show at London's Pangolin gallery, he talks about the animals – from pigs, cattle and dogs to the rooks taking flight in the field – that inspired his unique bucolic vision."
By now, pigs are (part of) Terence Coventry's style, in the best way, and that's kinda cool.