You know the rules: two hours, two eggs, too much fun! Everyone's a winner, but in a more actual and literal sense there are only three winners. The competition is intense, the deadlines tight, and the atmosphere charged: this is the annual Crossman Family Easter Egg Competition!
PREFACE: The Competition started back in the 1990s as a joint scheme by egg farmers and knick-kanck-mongers to clean out their winter inventories in the early spring, but has since morphed into the world's least likely magnet for artistic talent. Although there are years of history that went essentially unrecorded, it is the purpose of this webpage to henceforth keep at least a partial record of some of the highlights of each year's competition, including especially those details that cast the author in a favourable light. For this reason the current entry is actually being written some 15 months after the fact, since the luster of nostalgia make yesterday's triumphs seem all the more glorious. But I digress..... to the eggs!
ACTION SCENES: Elbow room is a luxury commodity, but the view makes this real estate invaluable.
NUMBER ONE by Chris. By far the most presumptuous creaton this year, this egg was destined not to live up to its name. The oppressive monumentalism recalls the creative bankruptcy of communist architecture, while the scribbled crayon says "Look what I drawed!". Trying to subliminally trick the electorate into voting for his project, the artist succeeded only in casting a farcical shadow over the vote. Literally.
SPLASH DOWN by Fern. At least it was probably Fern.... On this much we can agree: future art historians would unanimously concur that it looks like a Fern. Typical of this artist's style, the egg portrays an element of nature without gaudy or (some would argue) artistically necessary embellishments. Nevertheless, this egg's pose implies a fluidity of motion that is rare in egg-art. The official review? Technically brilliant but artistically unimaginative.
FESTIVE CLOWN by Ila (left). Vibrant, colourful and full of life! If you think this is what's needed to win the competition then you're living under a rock: where's the suffering? The raw wounds of artistic struggle? The cutting social commentary?!?
FLAMENCO DANCER by Doreen (right). This "Lady of the Night" couldn't carry the day, unfortunately.
JOHN DEER EGG by Sig. This work is well in keeping with the artist's 60 year mission to "Tractorfy" art. The composition is pleasing and the design is sound, but the message was apparently too subtle for the predominantly urban electorate.
TREEBEARD GETS A JOB by Bob. So, if a venerable old and wise Ent (the walking and talking trees of Lord of the Rings fame) were to make a volt-face in terms of lifestyle and conviction and join the corporate rat race, this is kind of what it would look like. Repleat with paradoxes and non-sequitors at every level of analysis, this work was entirely too clever for the mass appeal that is necessary to win the competition.
WHITE-COLLAR AUTOMATON by Bob . Disenchanted with the rat race, the artist composed this scathing indictment of the soulless corporate machine that has oppressed him for the past 25 years. Is that nut not representative of a bowl empty of bread hard earned by a sweating brow? The sheathed bolt not indicative of the shackles that prevent the bonded proletariat from bolting? Stirring stuff, certainly. Too bad it was easily mistaken for a robot flaunting his massive steally genitallia, which cost the artist some critical votes.
BRIDEZILLA by Kathy . She's big, she's ugly, and by Gar she's marrying somebody today! Bachelors, run for cover! Mothers, keep your sons well hidden! This veiled monstrosity is on a nuptual quest and she's not going to stop until the cans behind her motorcycle are clinking merrily down the road! This work was an instant attention getter, but the artist needs differentiate between "good attention" and "bad attention". In the end, this piece was just far too scary to garner many votes.
HUMPTY DUMPTY by Beryl (right). Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Humpty Dumpty.... you know, nowhere in the rhyme does it ever mention that he's an egg. Seriously, where did the notion of an anthropomorphised egg gain credence? Mr. Dumpty was probably a stone mason from Berkshire whose workplace -the Wall Repairing Guild - had health insurance through the King's mounted auxillaries.
ONE BLIND MOUSE by Cheryl (centre). This minimalist adaptation of the popular rhyme pits an unarmed farmer's wife against a rare breed of blue-blind mouse. The jury is still out on where this is going, and that lack of closure hurt these eggs at the polls.
MARY MARY QUITE CONTRARY by Doreen (left). This little purple number has been described as both purplesque and purpleful. However, it would take more than a cunning mix of red and blue to win over the judges this year.
KAYAK by Jen . This brilliant work of eggineering was both attractive and functional. Too bad it didn't float with the voters.... especially when they found out it was supposed to be a decorative clog.
SHUTTLECOCK by Kathy . This composition was brilliant! An egg so easily becomes the tip of a shuttlecock that we were all kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first. A few sour grapes must have been responsible for not pushing this work through to the winners' circle.
BEE-UTIFUL by Robin . A huge improvement over last year! This work combines flora and fauna into a heartwarming story of cross-pollination and redemption. Alas, we all know how the judges feel about eggs dangling from invisible strings....*COUGH* My Hindenburg of 2004 *UNCOUGH*. The lesson? Keep your eggs on the ground if you want to BEE a winner.
THE GOOD OLD HOCKEY GAME by Kalum . If Don Cherry had a disproportionate number of votes in our family easter egg competition, this entry would win in a heartbeat. Blades of steal, pads of....shell, this work shows a deep appreciation for the vernacular culture of Northern Ontario. Unfortunately Don Cherry is one of only a few people in Ontario who we haven't made an honorary family member, and without him shouting on his soap box from the sidelines this piece couldn't quite generate the electoral momentum necessary for a regulation time victory. Best of luck next season!
OVUM BOWL by Jen. 3RD PLACE WINNER! Just when you thought there were no more adaptations for eggs, Jen comes along and shatters those illusions. Green and sickly, this egg faithfully replicates the unfathomably poor taste in fixtures that was rampant in the third quarter of the twentieth century. Nostalgia won over the older voters, and whatever it is that was floating in the bowl brought the boys on board. This unlikely electoral alliance put the artist's work onto the podium for the second year in a row.
PUNK BAND by Ryely. 2ND PLACE WINNER! Born to runner up, the artist again came through with a second place finish! Big hair and guitar smashing mutants upped the ante over last years' similarly themed work, but how far up the podium will the punk genre carry this artist? Only time will tell.
BABY STROLLER by Alex. 1ST PLACE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!!! There is only one word to describe this entry: shameless. Simply shameless. The artist's competitive nature compelled him to make this cutesy little crowd pleaser for no better reason than that it would attract the votes of the "settled set". The flaming wreckages and ghoulish aliens of years past have been displaced by a granite pebble with an adorable wee smiley face painted on (inside). This blatant and cynical act of pandering to the crowd is sadly necessary to attract a broader audience, but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of an artist who was erstwhile considered avant-guard. Though he may protest that the innovative use of broken egg shells and wire wrought chassy pushed back the frontiers of egg decorating, the frilly pink edge-work cements its image as a "sell out" piece. On the other hand, the artist sticks his tongue out and says "nah-nah, I won!"