Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Now this is what I call a leaf...

There is a line in the original Crocodile Dundee movie where Mick Dundee is threatened by a knife wielding 'thug' - he counters this move by producing a huge knife and says something like - "now this is what I call a knife".

Barry Smith © Leaf Fragments
In the main I create reasonably small, even tiny, fold formed leaves.  But yesterday I worked with my brother Neil (below) to create the leaf above. Neil had come to spend a couple of days with Fiona and I by way of rest!!! A bit of creativity is always restful and uplifting I'm sure.

The stylised gum leaf measures about  3.3m long by 1m wide - quite big really.

Fiona Dempster © And the design discussion goes on...
The final design had input from Neil and Fiona who from time to time stood on the deck above to get a better perspective and give views about the lines and forms. The final design below emerged. I had to buy a sheet of rolled steel for this work as my recycled sheet metal pieces were too small. The sheet is 2.4mX1.2m. We used about 25 fine fibre cutting blades to cut the work out of the metal.

Fiona Dempster © The final design marked up ready to cut
This sculptural piece is destined for the Aspects Art Show in Goondiwindi. The work is called Leaf Fragments. Leaf Fragments is in fact three leaf forms: one big leaf form torn into four fragments; a smaller leaf falling out of the third fragment; and I have incorporated an earlier skeletal leaf I made to add an additional form and 3D aspect.

Barry Smith © Drop out leaf from Leaf Fragments
Barry Smith © Drop out leaf and negative space of tear lines in the leaf
Barry Smith © Leaf on leaf fragment
Below are some photos of the chalked up blued metal - part of the planning process captured by Fiona.

Fiona Dempster © Blue fragments 1
Fiona Dempster © Blue fragments 2
The piece still needs an acid treatment; holes for securing to the ground-grass exhibition area; more grinding; and a few bends here and there - but it is well on its way.

Barry Smith © The rusting (curing) process has begun
The negative space of the 'tears' in the leaf form stand out well against the black bitumen.


  1. My husband's favourite part in the movie is "now this is what i call a knife". Barry your new leaf is fantastic. The size of the piece makes it even more impressive. You really are on a roll. Artwork after amazing artwork.

  2. wow -
    you are on a creative roll! from small forms to large... how incredibly exciting to watch... and really fun that it was a family venture...
    this is really something - love it!

  3. No rest for the weary....your energy and drive astound me and always reaching for greater heights....and lengths!!! Go,'s a gorgeous giant leaf!!

  4. If nobody remembers the rest of the movie they will always know that line! Love the scale and the concept of cutting leaves out of the large one. How did you cut out the smaller leaf?...cuz I know you don't have a plasma cutter! :) sorry

  5. makes me think of this proverb...

    “The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living”
    Russian Proverb

    a beautiful piece you all shared in creating...enjoy your brothers company!!! be well and much love light and blessings~

  6. This is soooooo beautiful.

  7. THAT is a big leaf!! Guess you had the word "fragments" on your mind when you left a comment over at my blog. I liked what you said about my work,
    "delicate fragments". Love the scale of "Leaf Fragments", though large, it has its own sense of delicacy.

  8. Since I love gum leaves, this is a wonderful piece of sculpture, as Robyn says you are on a creating roll.

  9. R, MD, P/MB, SZQ, B, H, VA & P -- seems quite a few folk got and enjoyed the movie reference - and yes most of us can only remember that line - bit like Clint W's line - make my day. R, MD, P & P - seems like I'm on a roll but truly it only relates to the fact that I have a few deadlines and got sidetracked on the shrine etc - oh well I will get there. SZQ - would have loved your plasma cutter - it was all cut with fibre cutting disks in two side grinders - some of the curves were not as good as we would have liked. B-love that quote - beautiful - must store and use it - thanks. H - thanks for comment. VA - you are right I went from mine to yours - but the fragment things was apt. P - glad you liked. Go well. B

  10. Barry ... this piece is jawdropping! i was immediately transfixed on the leaf cut out when the image opened. it's perfection! and then i also saw the tears ... wow! this sculpture is just beautiful in every little detail.

  11. this looks pretty amazing, barry.

  12. Slightly large for earrings Barry but, hey, I still LOVE it.

  13. Barry,

    Wow! You aren't kidding!

    The process pics make the finish piece that much stronger. I love it!

    So, sorry for my lack of words lately, but I have been silently stalking your posts. Please put me at the top of the list when you start working on your run of portable shrines, and gongs!

    Please give my best to Fiona and take care,

  14. An amazing design! I can see this as a focal piece on a wall in my new house...
    Watch your bare toes, boy!

  15. LT, V, JM, BS &MFM - sorry it has taken a while to respond. Thanks for feedback. L - the design was a bit of collaboration with my brother and Fiona providing helpful commits. JM - you would end up with long lobes. BS - I know you are there. Good to see your creativity: and yes it the visit and conversation with you about portable mandalas was an influence re the shrines. MFM - I agree it would look good on a wall - though need to be spacious given it is 3.3m; and you are correct it has a bit of weight. Go well. B

  16. I am glad I came by and looked at your blog Barry. Absolutely love this piece of work - very striking. I also think the photographs are beautiful too.

  17. What a stunning leaf! Barry, your work just gets better and better. Every post has me thinking "I want that!"


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.