by Mel Scamp at Melscamp
This sculpture embodies the message and energy of the Great Töad.
Although we can not see the Great Töad, we can feel her inspiration, love and compassion at the Meädow as she inspires us to push further towards artistic enlightenment. We bask in the shining inspiration of the Great Töad. Like any other deity, Buddha or God; we yearn to see her in a physical form. Inspired by the white light that shines within all of us, we created a sculpture to epitomize her and worship at her feet. The sculpture is infused with the energy of the Great Töad and offers us a glimpse into perfection. At 6’7″ tall, she dominantly exudes confidence and power. Her textured exterior is the remains of yoga mats and reminds us that we are always in our breath. Each inhale, and each exhale is our greatest connection to the physical world, the environment that we reflect around us, the mirror that shows our false perception. We’re reminded that our true nature is the energy that moves within us.
The Great Töad has an interior of pure white light suggested by the ultra feminine mannequin serving as the sculpture’s base. Her interior structure is not telling of her exterior. Through humility, she takes on a form that goes beyond gender, a supreme being not caught up in human obsession with genealogy, genetics and genitals. Her shoulders are big and strong to carry the weight of divine inspiration. She was given full, robust motherly breasts to nourish her followers. She stands with her pelvis pushing forward, legs open to offer her most delicate, vulnerable area for us to eat from her knowledge. Although she is a physical representation of the Great Töad, the sculpture only serves as an idol to visualize her greatness. Its important not to adhere to this piece as the true deity but to only see it as a guide for a greater being that we can feel inside all of us.
Nuts & bolts & fiberglass & resin
At the August Art Build Weekend, Melissa Campbell started building the Great Töad. In September, she rallied the Töads and enlisted their help in completing this sculpture. 16 Toads took part in this project over 3 weekends of work, with multiple all-nighters in the week leading up to her debut.
A mannequin forms the base of the sculpture. We then used pex plumbing tubing and fiberglass resin to build it out. We cut up old foam from discarded couch cushions to give it more body, and finally covered it with rubber yoga mats to form the textured skin and warts.
Finally, we rigged medical oxygen tanks and tubing so that while it’s on display, the Great Töad can provide life-giving oxygen to the pilgrims assembled at her feet. The Great Töad sculpture debuted at Buffalo’s largest Halloween Party, The Witch’s Ball, in 2016.
Yoga mats donated by Shakti Yoga.
As near as we can tell, 19 people helped build the sculpture or run the oxygen bar at Witch’s Ball. Töad Power!
James and Keri Mikulec, Kristina Smythe, Jameson Hampton, Jay Andromeda, The Töad King, Fast Eddie, Julia Lundquist, Cherie Liska, Iason, Zarah Peterson, Jefferson Wright, Crackerjack, Linda Berg, Lexie Laredo, EJ, Joe and Courtney.
Thanks to everyone that glued a yoga mat or otherwise helped make this happen!