Archive

Mask Making

Last week I went to the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology in Cambridge.
I went specifically to see the Star Carr exhibition as they are the oldest mask like objects to have been found in the UK.
This has set me off on a new series of drawings.I wanted to share these with you as a part of my own thinking process.
I have been making drawings for the past year or so and spending several months on each series.  A series being one large work 150cm square plus a variable number of subsidiary images (A2).
The Star Carr masks  (and there are several of them, maybe 20?) are mesolithic objects made of Red Dear Skulls  which were adapted to be worn. Possibly on the top of a persons head. What I find most intriguing is that the antlers have been cut down to remove the points and then hollowed out. Literally an attempt to getting inside the animal. Many flint tools were found with them.
The first image is the start of a  new large drawing to which I shall be adding layers of images as they occur. Day one of  a process that  I expect to last for  several months.
The second image is the current source material  I am playing with right now. The third photo is of a memory of a shamanic ritual concerning fire and larch trees, a portal into another world. The first of who knows how many subsidiary drawings.

In the last month I have bought two pieces of art.

The first being a ceramic mask from Graham Underhill.                                                         The Willoughby Memorial Trust Gallery, Corbyb Glen LincolnshireIMG_2114

The Second work of  textile art from Kashif Nadim Chaudry.                                                     Primary: Nottingham Studios. 71936347_3104614602943561_4713049011844546560_o

Looks like it takes me three months to reach an end point to these large drawings, can’t say finished but to arrive at a stage of partial satisfaction. IMG_2117This is now Vitruvian Man at 3 months.                                                                                  Smaller drawing continue to develop the theme.

Studio           IMG_2129

And Detail   IMG_2120

Once again  I am working on a large scale charcoal drawing (1.30 metre sq.) This time being a meditation on the influence upon my artistic life by maleness, Leonardo da Vinci, movement and touch. The ghosts of ancestral giants.

With a side dish of smaller drawings to complement the process.

Even bringing my work as a mask-maker into play:

All to be continued:

In collaboration with Nottingham City Council (Libraries and Parks) and ‘Curious’ and a range of artists, yoga, musicians, storytellers and visual arts for children and families. Outdoor activities for the summer holidays in five sites across the city.  MI have facilitated masks-making sessions have been in my own local Park at Woodthorpe. It has been most gratifying to witness the diversity of families who have come along. This being the UK,  the weather always poses a risk but , so far, only on one day have we had to relocate into a poly-tunnel.

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Different stories have been used to lead each week , ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Wild Animals and ‘The Gruffalo ‘have been the themes of the 3 weeks I have been a part of the project. The library service have provided a selection of related books to suit a range of ages, so that there is something that families can access every day, even when there is no artist facilitating activities.

Well done Nottingham, showing imagination and co-ordination between different departments to give services where there is a need.