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Tuesday, February 8, 2005

1000 Words

I began my fascination with the world of Frank Herbert’s Dune when I began to read the book at eleven years old. In the novel Herbert creates another world with stunning detail and richness – it is not difficult to imagine the diverse people, places, or things in the Dune universe. One of the creatures in the novel is the feared sandworm, a vicious predator of the wide-open desert that burrows underneath the sand awaiting the vibration of the foot-steps of its prey. Sometimes reaching over hundred of yards in length, the sandworm moves underneath its prey to rise up and swallow it whole, leaving no trace of its many victims. This image of the sandworm haunted me immediately. The idea that a monstrous, whale-like creature could move with swiftness above and below the sand then proceed to engulf me whole terrified me. The sandworm is big and long, has sharp rows of teeth like a shark, and is swift and efficient.

I used the triangle shape of the teeth to imply a sense of moving sharply into the mouth. I wanted to recreate the sensation of a menacing, threatening being hovering overhead. The circular shape of the mouth was used to provide a cylindrical framework for the teeth. The smaller sized triangles in the mouth were used to symbolize the smaller teeth in the back of the mouth and I also used them to add depth to the body cavity of the sandworm. The triangle flaps on the outside were used to simulate the embracing qualities of the sandworm’s mouth. I wanted them to express the inescapability of being confronted with a sandworm.

The red spotting on the teeth were used as evidence of the sandworm’s past victims, signifying the harmful potential of the sandworm. The red spotting on the teeth also provided a sharp contrast with the blackness of the sandworm gullet, which I adopted in order to give a sense of the vacuum inside the sandworm. The relative brightness of the flaps outside the mouth were used as to give an alarming quality to the impending engulf of the sandworm. I made the background darker than the sandworm in order to emphasize to approach as opposed to recession of the sandworm.

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