with a Donkey
by Ian Boyter
Louis Stevenson sitting on rocks offering a crust of bread
to his donkey 'Modestine', as described in the author's
famous travel story "Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes"
and influenced by Anna Tambour's short story "Travels with
Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cévennes".
This is a new
sculpture made in 2004. One of a limited edition of 30.
Hand-made in Scotland, authenticated by the sculptor, Ian
Anna Tambour's Note:
Stevenson is dead, so he wasn't asked his opinion,
Ian Boyter wrote only to me.
with a Donkey in the Cévennes
is a favourite of his, and then he came upon a
different side of the story with my by-line, on
Ian's idea was to show not only what Stevenson thought that
'Modestine', the donkey, thought of him, but to incorporate in her
expression, what she thought he thought that she thought and what she thought. Complicated enough
in words, but . . .
After explaining his goals, Ian asked for some sort of permission,
as if he needed it. There was, of course, nothing to mull over on my
part as I contemplated the fiendishly difficult job he had ahead of
him, and thought of the cruel enjoyment I would soon have as I felt
his artist's pain.
So with the reputation of 'Modestine' breathing down my neck, I
graciously acceded to Boyter's wish. He proceeded, and sent
rivetting pics of the sculpture as it took form and developed
quirkiness. I admit to getting disgusting tied up in wanting these
characters to come to life in a new way, under Ian's fingertips. Or
maybe it was their egos whispering in my ears --
Boyter better get this right!
His donkey models were a certain 'Pearl' and 'Periwinkle', who do
bear a strong resemblance to the real 'Modestine'. And as for Robert
Louis Stevenson, it was an exciting state when his head was deemed
inaccurate and received radical and probably painful surgery, to end
up as he his: the spitting image of the man himself, and as alive as
any other author should be. As for their expressions, I can vouch
for the satisfaction of at least one of these immortals.
As to this Ian Boyter
character, he is a visual artist and designer with an
intimidatingly upmarket clientele, such as the Scottish National
Trust. His paintings and sculptures are in leading Scottish
galleries - and the man's also a
professional jazz musician who plays around the world - sax, no
less, which means that he could make his living making music with
hot air, unlike Bill Clinton or that other failed muso, Tony Mr
Third Way (was the second as an angry young artist?) B.
Find him Playing that
Jazz Band Central
and now you can listen and watch on You Tube, where he goes
by the name of
Well, that's enough about Ian Boyter.
As to this now invitingly touchable moment, I think that Boyter
did it – he captured the feelings of both characters in one of
literature's most charming, or otherwise, journeys.
Indispensable, limited edition Tonic for the Soul
Good For You
The Antidote to Literary Snobbism
"Yes, it's cool, isn't it? Who? No, I didn't know. I bought it for
the donkey, the saddlery, those retro boots - and that sensitive
wouldn't 'Modestine' and that man she's with look good
looking at you in your
Drawing room or One-room Bedsit
Perched somewhere on your desk
In your private library (unlike your globe,
Travels will never be out-of-date)
In your public library
Cluttered but Cultured Bedroom
Cold-cast resin with a bronze finish
Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm, weight
37 13.80 x 13.80
19.9 pounds, if you work at NASA