Diary Forms: Slug and Goliath

My trash monster was created with only gut feelings. I went into the creation with specific aspects already established (the spiked tea bag weapon, the long, hammerhead-esque beer can head, and the belt of wrappers) but with no experience in sculpture or creating a stable structure. The David of the standoff, is a long standing self-allegory. Slugs and crochet are two things very dear to me, and two things that have become footholds of my recovery and sanity. The slug is the underdog, they are shielding themself from the brute force of this looming monster of waste with all but a needle dispenser and a crochet hook that is being pointed ahead like a lance. David has a helmet crafted from thread, and while he may not seem prepared, his stature is confident and inspiring. He is ready to give it his all. 

Everyday I find myself internally battling with the waste I create and see. It feels guilty and dirty regardless of how necessary it is to my health. Because of my personal history with disordered eating, food waste is a point of constant tension. I also love animated battles. I grew up watching things like Attack on Titan, Russel Crowe as a revolutionary gladiator in Rome, even CGI werewolf Jacob battling against evil vampires. These reality transcendent, immersive scenes of tension and violence are now deeply cathartic to me and I wanted to recreate one in a way that speaks to a deep aspect of my life.  

My process was very piecemeal. I knew that bottles were going to provide a stable base because they can stand alone and balance, and then I just continued to think creatively with the trash I had collected. I was thinking about dinosaurs and sea creatures and all sorts of real world cool lookin fellas.

This piece represents my resilience and also acceptance. I will never beat the monster that is my relationship with food and restriction. I have been in remission of sorts for years now and I’m still in it on a daily basis. I am still actively fighting. But this piece is my declaration of continuing that battle, and my faith in myself. It also is a way for me to put a face to the enemy, and that face is silly, and has ears made out of Pop-corners, and a Nabisco branded tongue sticking out. The enemy may be bigger than me and stronger than me, but it’s also something I am ready to face-off against. 

As I write this post now I am falling back into disordered eating habits because of emotional disruption and I find myself smiling as upload these photos. It truly is a art piece designed to mock and put silly, tangible, and manageable faces to the monsters that everyone finds themselves dealing with.

Author: Dylan Sandow