Monday, January 7, 2013

Arachnid Invasion in the Great White North

When Pipkin decided to hop around Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, he never thought he'd see this 8 legged freak roaming around in the cold. He'd seen giant spiders during his trip to Seattle in the fall, as well as squid, the very real Giant Pacific Octopus, and Seattle's famous bridge troll. It was -13°C and snowing in the nation's capital, but it didn't stop this giant arachnid from making an appearance. Canadian spiders must be a hardy breed.

The spider looked like it was making its way towards Parliament and snacking on snowmen along the way. Scary! But after a little reading, Pipkin began to understand the spider, and he got over his fear.

The sculpture by artist Louise Bourgeois, is called Maman. About the spider, the artist said,

The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother. - Louise Bourgeois
Seeing the spider in a new light, and knowing its diet was mosquitoes, and not labbits or snowmen, Pipkin got a closer look. Inside Maman's abdomen are 26 marble eggs.

Maman has been to many locations around the world including Canada and the United States, Europe, South America and the Middle East. Hopefully Maman makes her way someplace warm and dry to lay her eggs.

Pipkin had a fuzzy memory of having come across Louise Bourgeois' name recently. Plus, thinking about the 8 legged freaks creatures in Seattle, he had a feeling he came across her work in Seattle. Hmmm...

Oh that's right! The giant eyeballs in Olympic Sculpture Park! Her Eye Benches were in the park, and Pipkin was able to get up and close to them, just like Maman. Click here to read about Pipkin's visit to the park.  Pipkin hopes to do more world travel to see this artist's work. For now, he's going to hop around Parliament Hill. Standing around gets really chilly, and this spider provides no warmth!

You can visit Maman just outside the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Canada.

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