This colourful sculpture called Chiara (in Italian light, clear) portrays a cat with her tail up in the air. It signifies happiness, self-assurance and contentment. The ancient Egyptians already had house cats depicted as such on 3,600-year old mural paintings.
In the Age of Discovery, domestic cats had a specific duty: they were carried on sailing ships to control shipboard rodents. Cats, indeed, play a role in many cultures, may this be in Islam, where Mohammed is reported to have kept a cat called Muezza, or in Norse mythology, which knows of cats drawing the chariot of Freyja, the goddess of love.
Cats are often said to have several lives. They stand for independence, guardians of homes and domestic goodness. The dictionary for animal symbolism accredits them with being intelligent, intuitive, selective and astute.
The cat stands on a base inscribed with ARTISGAM SITRA ARUTAN (which, if read backwards, means in Latin: Natura Artis Magistra – Nature is the teacher of art). It is not only the name of one of the oldest zoos in Europe and the oldest in the Netherlands (situated in Amsterdam), but has also played a major role as a concept in art theories, namely to distinguish the relationship between art and nature – is art artificial or part of nature?
Fons van Dommelen (*1964 in the Netherlands), the sculptor, has created a sculpture for which he has taken nature as its starting-point, namely a cat, creating an archetypal symbol that surpasses the individual creation of nature. His colourful execution is reminiscent of graffiti art sculptures and of the energetic patterns of a Niki de Saint Phalle.
Details: 27 cm height (made of resin)