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Gargoyle Statues

by Slavko Jersic

posted in Travel and Leisure : Europe Travel

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I have been into gargoyle statues ever since I was a kid. I think it all started when we took a vacation to France. We saw some authentic medieval gargoyle statuary there. I had never seen anything like it. I grew up in the Midwest, and wasn't allowed to watch horror movies, so I had never seen grotesques hanging off the edges of creepy castles. People had garden gargoyles, but that was about it, and I have never particularly taken notice of them before.

These medieval gargoyles were something different altogether. The original purpose of gargoyle statues was to scare off demons, and you can tell by looking at them that that is exactly how they were designed. A real gargoyle statue is not something cute and quirky, it is something meant to be terrifying to people and spirits alike.

I used to like to draw gargoyles when I was a kid. I tried to make gargoyle statues Out of clay a few times, but it never seemed to quite work. I gave up on that and contented myself with making pictures instead. Some of them were actually very good. My parents had them up on the wall for several months. This was something, considering their taste in art. They would never put up something dark normally. They preferred light, upbeat pictures. The fact that they put my gargoyle pictures on the wall meant that they really liked them and that they were probably pretty good.

My parents actually got me a small gargoyle statue for my birthday one year. I was absolutely crazy about it. I put it above the doorway to guard my room from evil spirits and unwanted guests. Whenever I did not someone to come in to my room, I would whisper in my gargoyle statues ear to keep that person out. I did not really think that the gargoyle was listening, but somehow it was comforting to play make-believe.

I finally got to go back to Europe again last year after a decade of not seeing it. I was pretty impressed by the fact that my reaction to gargoyle statues hadn't changed at all. They were still every bit as awe-inspiring and spectacular as before, perhaps even more so. Now that I had tried to make my own gargoyle statues and learned how difficult it was, I could really appreciate the craft that was involved. I think immersing yourself in any art always makes you appreciate it a little bit more. When I get a chance, I'm going to try stone carving. One of these days, I want to make a real gargoyle statue of my own.

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