The Snake Charmer

New Zealand Sculpture Onshore — 2012

The Snake Charmer is a sculpture tableau comprising a slender I-shaped column of ink-black granite beneath twisting serpentine branches, amidst dense unique planting.  The tableau reconceptualises and inverts a 1907 painting of the same name by Henri Rousseau, transforming 'Eve' - from Rousseau's exotic chanteuse into a modern icon; and 'Eden' – from idealised jungle to a real Pacific island. High on a cliff at NZ Sculpture Onshore, The Snake Charmer presides over a world renowned snake-free paradise, one that is under immediate threat.  Poisonous sea snakes migrating across the Pacific Ocean and land snakes smuggled across borders, challenge the Island nation's 'Godzone' status.  Amidst concerns about global warming affecting sea temperatures and ocean currents, The Snake Charmer maintains watch over land and water, protecting and warning of things we cannot yet see.