Archive

Mask Making

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

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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.

 

Ralf Weztel contacted me just three weeks ago from Brussels in dire need of a maker who could replicate a cheap plastic mask in something more durable (Paper Maché).

I met with him in Edinburgh last Tuesday, took a cast of the mask, brought it home and made the mask in time to post it on Monday so he could perform with it on Tuesday. He has a one man show throughout the Edinburgh Festival (August 2019.) Go see the show and tell me all about it as I am unable to make a return trip to Scotland.

Sometimes a tight deadline can be an exciting challenge, this one certainly was.             Felt good though, timing fell into place. As I was in the north anyway, a day trip to Edinburgh was an easy diversion  away from family in Berwick upon Tweed..                                                                                                        I do love it when there is a tangible  purpose to a job.

Ralf Wetzel    (Belgium)         ‘Absolutely Reliable!’  by Ralf Wetzel and Lee Delon

Venue C cubed, Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, EdinburghEH1 2PS, venue 50                                        Dates 1-25 Aug (not 13)    Time 22:00 (0hr50)                                                                            Ticket prices £9.50-£11.50 / concessions £7.50-£9.50 / under 18s £5.50-£7.50

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The early summer has been dominated by this project in Leicestershire, working with Andy Barret, The 1620 House, a Primary School and Dragon’s Breath Theatre. I can’t believe I had never heard of this extraordinary person, Sir Kenelm Digby. Our Ken was a proto scientist, diplomat, privateer, man of letters and inventor. Such an inspiration to all of us involved.

The House and Garden are a delight. Visitors are encouraged to truly interact with the place as most ‘things’ in the house are replica’s and therefore handleable. This was the home of the sister of Sir Kenelm. She who modernised the medieval building with new windows in 1620. The garden is laid out as of the time with a maze, herbarium and roses.

In the House we told the story of Sir Kenelm  Digby and his world.  I, as Dr Jon (Phenomenologist,)  took  on the role of a scientist looking back at 17th Century through the five senses, smell, taste, sound, sight and touch. Andy in role as an Historian, told the story of Sir Kenelm, of 17th Century  world view and the rise of science out of superstition. Sir Kenelm was the son of one of the Bonfire Plot conspirators.

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Back at the school the children spent three days with us to make manifest their own story of the visit to the 1620 House and of Sir Kenelm Digby, his wife Venetia, through puppetry, scientific experiments, writing (prose and poetry), image making and performance.

A fascinating journey for us all, with history and science made alive.