Thursday, August 18, 2011


To cut a long story short I am feeling restricted and confined due to power outages and puppy ailments. It seems like the right time to do a post on cages since I'm confined to home for the next few weeks looking after a very dear, very good little bull terrier puppy named Digby.

.....So on with the post while the power is on.

Cages and Enclosures Series by Dawn Nakashima

Dawn Nakashima was inspired to do a very moving series on Cages & Enclosures, after her parents spoke about their experience in the concentration camps during World War II. Read the story here.

"The rice bowls held within the cages represent the individual. I chose the rice bowls because when people immigrate to other countries their ethnic food tends to be the last thing to go in terms of assimilating into another culture".

"The tags that are attached to the cages mirror the ones that were attached to the internees and their belongings when they were in transit to the camps... ". - Dawn Nakishima

Sculpture using Eucalupt branches by Ken Unsworth. See more here.

Cage by Alberto Giacometti
Sculpture by Bard Breivik. See website here.

Sculpture by Martin Puryear. See more here.

Sculpture by Chen Zhen. Website here.

Uncaged Series (ceramic) by Alice Walton. See more here.

Caged Man (Wood) by Bruce Chapin. See website here.

Birdcage series, collage on matboard by Lynda Andrus. See link here.

.........and this is Digby!


  1. Love those caged eggs!

    So, where is the photo of Digby?

    Fingers crossed for full power for you Robyn!

  2. Wow .. This was really beautiful pictures!

  3. Powerful pieces, I really love Ken's sculpture.

  4. that is the shortest short story i have ever seen ; )

    i am eating spoons of soft butter pecan ice cream with coffee, right now, I think you deserve a treat!

    Great group of cages, have been really loving the elegance of Chen Zhen's piece a while now; i don't believe in cages, just temporary frustrations! Like bad weather...

    Digby is a wonderful name.
    I wish you all kinds of "power" to do what you want to do!
    and as this heat and humidity finally lifts I feel less oppressed

  5. Actually this post, though it dealt with physical prisons and cages, brought to mind all the different ways we are imprisoned. Now where did I put that key?!

  6. Thanks for that. There's no doubt cages, symbolic or real, speak to most people. Love the egg one... a STRONG image.

  7. superbe, pour le moment j'ai vu bruce chapin.. fantastique! je reviens pour voir les autres!!!merci!

  8. That you for this post. The cages are so very poignant.

  9. I sometimes feel caged in. I will think of this post the next time and realize it is mostly in my mind.

  10. Lots of wonderful sculptures. I LOVE the Giacometti one, haven't seen any of his sculptures except the figures... hmmm, gotta go look that up. Hope all is well with the pup, will your cage provide you with the opportunity for work?

  11. Haunting. I have to say cages are not my favorite thing. Where is Digby? Bull Terriers are my favorite dog. I just lost my Border collie and I am thinking of getting a puppy, but you have me rethinking that :-). I hope your power gets worked out. xoxo

  12. I hope digby gives you
    some return value....

    in slbbers or "installations"

    love seeuing Ken Unsworth here.

  13. Oh Digby is delicious, but do you have your old dog still or did I miss something?
    Cages, well useful to keep my chooks in and away from marauding foxes but I would rather they could wander the garden. Trying to get some guinea fowl, they are supposed to keep snakes away.
    I do find the concept of cages interesting.

  14. Leslie, a full day with power so I'm happy!

    Thanks Art.

    Dyche Designs, follow the link to see more of Ken's pieces. His work really talks to me too.

    Mansuetude, mmmm pecan icecream would hit the spot!

    Curio, we certainly do construct cages around ourselves in so many ways. I catch myself doing so regularly.

    Jo Murray, the egg image is striking isn't it?!

    Elfi, Bruce Chapin's work intrigues me too.

    Bofis, it's quite amazing just how many cage artworks there are on the internet. Enough for several posts!

    Lisa at G, mind cages....that's what I tell myself too. It's very easy to put up the barriers.

    Valerianna, not sure about time to work but thinking about art certainly brightens my day. The Giacometti cage is one of my favourites!

    Sorry Paula :-)

    Annie, Bullies are the most wonderful dogs. So full of character!

    Grrl, Digby is worth every moment of "inconvenience". He is so good and very appealing.

  15. Hi Penny, I actually didn't mention it on my blog but my darling bully Ben dropped dead out of the blue a few weeks ago. It has been such a shock and very upsetting but now I can at least talk about it. We miss him so much.

  16. Sorry to hear about your dogs- always so sad. Hope you are not 'trapped' for too long. Good to see Australian Ken Unsworth

  17. Digby certainly has the 'aww' factor!
    Great post - lots of links to follow now! I like oriental bird cages for their decorative qualities - I don't really like to see birds inside:( Hope the electrics keeping going!

  18. I can totally identify with the "caged by circumstances" feeling! I loved all the sculptural work in your post (as I usually do:)) Thank you Robyn

  19. PS Digby looks like all a bully should be

  20. I feel like the ceramic man with the head cage. Wonderful post! Digby is a doll.

  21. R- you are a magician -= amazing how you can find art stuff that reflects a mood or circumstance - including how we can all feel caged at different times by different responsibilities and emotions etc. Go well and may Digby thrive quietly. B

  22. digby is the perfect name for this little creature... the cages are wonderful each and everyone especially the classic, the giacometti... fabulous... and the wire is so hard to work with, I learned that last summer when I chose wire for the skirt of my santos doll, so I am AWED by this work... thanks Robyn... enjoy digby!

  23. As usual Robyn, I am blown away by your choice of art work - wonderful. And Digby is just adorable - I used to own an English Bull Terrier called Sushi - sadly she came to a sad end when she ended up biting someone and had to be put to sleep. We found out only later that as a tiny puppy she had been the runt of the litter and had to fight her brothers and sisters for her food. We felt so guilty.

  24. Robyn, I am so, so sorry about darling Ben. Thank you for adding the photo of sweet Digby, what a doll! xoxo

  25. good luck and healing to digby.
    the enclosures, the cages, so profound.

  26. Sorry you lost your Ben. But that Digby.....! Looks like a winner to me.

  27. Dear Robyn,
    Ben is off on his next journey over 'The Rainbow Bridge'. He's let you find Digby, so he knows you have a four legged friend to look after you.
    Love Bryn

  28. Even after seeing such impressive, bizarre and sometimes frightening art, it was the puppy who stole my heart.

  29. Digby is so cute but I know they are like human babies.. puppies need so much care and attention too.. I hope he gets well soon.. I loved all these artists and their works.. I not only collect bird nests.. but bird cages too.. though EMPTY bird cages.. I hope that feeling of being 'caged' soon passes.

  30. Hi Robyn,

    First, Digby is sooo sweet...he'll be on his own before you wish him to be!! Concerning your CAGES post, they're very unique and creative...
    and the story of their creation is heartwarming. Thanks for sharing it. Nice to hear a not-so-awful story from that time period!!!
    Finally, ETHIOPIA...I live in New York State and travel to Ethiopia (as well as other parts of Africa) every year. I have two adopted families in Southern Ethiopia (the Omo region) that are part of my heart and soul. I've been to Lalibela a few times...once, during one of their festivals when they take the Ark out and parade it around. The colors, the spirit and the sounds are JUST like Jerusalem, Israel. The rock-hewn churches are extraordinary, though. Some of the residents believe that angels must have aided in their construction as humans couldn't accomplish that feat (of carving 11 churches) on their own in such a short period of time. I loved it...
    Thanks for sharing your posts...I'm really enjoying your blog.

    See you again,

    P.S. You can read a bit about my Ethiopian tribal families on my blog...if you search the past posts.

  31. Digby is the cutest thing ever! Oh, and the art is great, too, of course! All of them are fantastic, but it's hard to believe the piece by Alice Walton is ceramic. I confess, I really just want to look at Digby, though!

  32. p.s. I'm so sorry about Ben; I know how these little furry people become part of the family. hope you're 'uncaged' soon, in all respects...

  33. I know this caged feeling well my friend! What a sweetie your Digby is.

  34. lord, lord, whenever I have a crisis of "subject" there are riches to be found at Art Propelled.

  35. and -- OMG, those sweet huge puppy feet.

  36. Robyn, thank you for another wonderful post with uncredible artwork.
    Cages - such a rewarding topic. And I just thought that a collection of prisoners' artwork might be interesting as well?
    And then all the comments are some artwork in themselves... All these people from all over the world taking active interest in your post - it's so interesting to read what different associations your post evoques in everybody!
    Your puppy is adorable. I like his face expression and his huge puppy feet (I've got 2 black labs, mother & daughter...).

  37. this is a wonderful collection of images... love to be taken into the world of sculpture when i visit here Robyn... a rewarding subject this... so much is born of constant and behind bars.
    beautifully said!

  38. What beautiful compositions of images.
    The caged rice bowl is my favorite.

  39. Thanks for the image of cute puppiness - makes me smile to see him! Ben held a special place. So sorry for your loss.

  40. These pieces are all very powerful. But my favorite has to be Digby!

  41. A powerful post Robyn - the images simply grab you and immediately create that sense of caged and contained and being can get like that sometimes and they help express those feelings (for me) for sure. Best wishes as you and yours heal...F

  42. Olá!
    Já à muito não visitava o teu Blogue "Art Propelled".
    Gosto muito de todo o processo adorável, marcante.
    Continuação de bons momentos de criação e felicidades.
    Adoro as suas criações.

  43. What a magnificent collection, Robin! A great way to start this week! These objects are brilliant, I can't decide which I like best.
    Thanks to you for putting this all together!


  44. Thanks Don. I don't feel too trapped. It's a great opportunity to bond with the new pup.

    Caroline, no I don't like to see birds inside cages either but I enjoy the shapes and seeing them used for other things.

    Di, he is a typical bully and growing by the day!

    Laura Tringali Holmes, I hope you get that cage off your head soon :-)

    Thanks Barry, Digby has made himself at home and his ailments are slowly healing.

    Cat, I remember your beautiful santos doll. No surprise that the wire is hard on the hands! I stitched a few pieces of wood with wire and that was hard enough.

    Weaver, I think Bull Terriers have a bad rap so we are quite sensitive when they do misbehave. We have had bullies for years and love them dearly. They are such clowns and will guard us with their lives. I could tell many stories of how they have saved their owners and two of our bullies actually herded a band of burglars into the swimming pool and kept them their until we got home.

  45. Annie C, thanks you so much for caring. I know you lost your dear dog and cats which must have been very hard.

    Velma, thank you.

    Don, thanks so much. Digby is proving to be a real treasure and an excellent guard dog at the tender age of 8 weeks.

    HHnB, he chose well when he found Digby!

    Shayla, he has an irresistible charm!

    Donna, your bird cages filled with everything but birds are beautiful. I remember your photos.

    AbbyJ, I've not yet been to Ethiopia but am hankering to go. (and actually did a post on the rock-hewn churches which were built with the help of angels). How intriguing that you visit the Omo Valley!

    Thanks Sharmon, I think the power outages and water cuts bother me more than looking after dear Digby...... and we both enjoy a good cuddle which makes everything feel better.

    Laura X, I know you do and feel very humbled knowing how difficult it must be. You are a star!

    Melanie, you always say the sweetest things!

    Sue, prisoners artwork would certainly add another facet to this topic..... and the comments from so many people add another. This blog world never ceases to amaze me.

    Thanks Sophie, the topic could hive off in many directions. I've barely touched on it but it provides plenty of food for thought.

    Art at Chesterbrook, thanks so much for visiting!

    Thanks Leslie, Ben was such a character and we miss him so much but Digby is working very hard to fill the gap. Did I mention he likes to dig? :-)

    Tess, thank you!

    Seth, yes Digby could start a fan club on FaceBook!

    Thanks Fiona, I'm so delighted your open studio is such a success. Well done my friend!

    Hello Paulo, thank you so much for visiting.

  46. Gaby, glad you enjoyed the cage collection!

  47. Digby is adorable... and your 'cage' post is moving and sad. But beautiful art. roxanne

  48. a compelling post Robyn and the style in which people turn their emotions to art is quite interesting and raw.....
    Digby is a gorgeous little old is he?

  49. Great post here & a lovely new pup in memory of old furry friends & a sweet distraction to help fill your empty nest. ;)

    Loved your last post, too, Naomi Sultanik & particularly Ann Baldwin - I absolutely NEED hide behind?

  50. glad the power's back. . .
    profound works/statements...
    i'll never feel fenced in again after reflections on Dawn's pieces and stories.
    ....looking at Digby brings a grin. he'll unfence anyone ...

  51. Roxanne, since I wrote this post Digby has grown so much. I just want to hold on to that cuddly puppy stage!

    Lisa, He is 9 weeks old now but the photograph was taken by the breeder at 5 weeks.

    Emma, I'm smiling at your comment. My daughter visited last week and said just so you know, I am still your baby.

    Thanks B E

    Neva, power and water off yesterday but I'm smiling today.

  52. So very sorry to hear about your dog! And a big welcome to this little one.
    As always, your posts leave me wanting to go make some art.