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One of a kind, hand-sculpted & painted mixed media sculplture. This large artwork includes neon led wire lighting. It rotates and plays the song from which it was inspired. See the story below.


Available through cre8ery gallery. Call 2049440809 or email Shipping available, shipping cost not included in price


The Story of This Artwork:

🎶Oh dear, what can the matter be

🎶Three old ladies stuck in a lavat’ry

🎶They’ve been there from Sunday to Saturday

🎶Nobody seems to care


When my brother and I were little, my mom & nana often sang us songs at bedtime. Most of those songs hold special places in my heart, but this one particular song holds an extra special place.


The song is a bawdy English pub version of “Johnny So Long at the Fair” called “Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be?”. It came from my papa’s time in a barbershop quartet and it’s an incredibly silly song about old women getting their bums stuck in toilets.


Google will tell you that the song varies wildly in how many ladies are stuck, what their names were, which days of the week they were toilet bound… but in every version, no one seems to care. That much is very consistent.


Now, you may have noticed in the chorus above, there is an apostrophe in lavatory. This is because lav-a-tor-ee is one syllable too long for the melody. So they shorten it to lav-a-t’ree… or at least that’s how it sounded phonetically.


So imagine you’re me: a kid with a helluva imagination and a predisposition toward anxiety, who is not familiar with lavatories and does not yet understand this kind of creative conjunction… I fully spent my life, like until my 20s, thinking these old women were stuck in a LAVA TREE. A tree made of lava. Glowing hot lava. And nobody seemed to care… so they were stuck there. Forever. And it was horrifying.


Mom was not aware that I had developed this misunderstanding. And I mean, I likely never would have sculpted this if she had been able to put my fears to rest. And so, that haunting mondegreen has inspired this intense labour of love.


Making this come to life was a very long journey with many people helping. It’s a whole family affair really. Much thanks to mom for letting me use her much larger oven.


It’s one of my favorite works to date. Like all pieces, it evolved as I worked. I pushed farther into things I’ve never tried before. I didn’t know at the start where it was going but I’m stoked about where it ended up.

What Can The Matter Be

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