Archive

Mask Making

Today I have been making cartoonish drawings of Primary Emotions.

IMG_4076 A Neutral Face

 

IMG_4077 Sad and HappyIMG_4078 Angry and DisgustedIMG_4079 Surprised and Fearful

These I intend to  use next week for some online teaching, as I give a demo on mask-making to prop. making students.    I would like to get them active and not just give a     one sided lecture. I use these ideas when teaching mask performance skills so why not for makers.  I hope it will make it more personal for them as they  examine their own faces and feel what muscles they use to make these extreme expressions.

Today was to have been the finale of the Hart Of the Woods Project.                                      Instead, the project is on hold until we are all able to get out and about, and  people are able attend Outdoor events again.  Instead, we are sharing images and films from the project.                                                                                                                                                 Check out https://www.instagram.com/hart_of_the_wood                                                We are:  to Ben Wigley (Artdocs) , Nathaniel  Robin Mann, Lisa Knapp, Martin Sommerville, Sian Allen and the National Trust folks at Comer Woods, Dudmaston, Shropshire.

These are the finished Red Deer Headdresses I have made for the project.IMG_4011

Started back in March, these three have been my principal companions over the past three months during the CV19 lockdown. And fine companions they have been to sooth my soul.  They have inspired me to make archeological  and folkloric investigations, drawings and prompted dreams.

Looking forwards to the time when they will be able to leave the studio and take their place out there, in the magical world of Art and Nature on this Midsummers Day.

 

I have been in working in collaboration with Richard T.Frost to make three wooden replicas of ‘The Canterbury Jade Axe’ (British Museum). These have been made to be handling objects, to be shown together with a large charcoal drawing, which may be included in an exhibition planned for 2021. IMG_3868

Elm from Tim , White Walnut from Rosie & Black Walnut from Tim

Many hours in the making. Several days for Richard to carve then two weeks for me to sand and polish, using  boiled linseed oil, seven coats of oil based varnish, polished with rotten stone, raw linseed oil and red earth to finish.

These artefacts are yet again a manifestation of my meditations on the human impulse to make stuff, the creative urge.  Many years ago I was horrified to see  in an exhibition, some ‘Sculptures for the Blind’ by Brancusi, displayed inside a prospect box!  These three pieces are designed to be handled, to be not just something to look at but also to be something beautiful to touch.  Hand and Eye in collaboration.

Yes, they have metaphoric resonances but my continuing rumination’s are taking me  somewhere else.  As I develop the drawing , started but expected to develop over the next few months, I hope to find that ‘where’.

 

 

For domestic use, not medical.

IMG_3495IMG_3485Scan 8

Two layers, one cotton and one poly cotton.                                                                                  If using Elastic  two loops at 5 inches (13cm).                                                                                If cotton tape’s, four lengths at 18 inches (46cm).                                                                         It is possible to add  a third layer of some non woven fabric inside. This could be baby wipes (washed) , vacuum cleaner bag fabric has been recommended, vilene or even paper towel.                                                                                                                                           They can be used when shopping, when finding oneself in a place where social distancing is difficult, on public transport. Make two for yourself, one to wear and one to wash.

Next stage of the ‘Hart of the Woods’ Red Deer Headdress.                                                    Clay design complete, now mould making.

 

Many thanks to Richard Frost for documentary photographs and filming in the morning and then to Amira, Diane and Manuela from Nottingham Trent University for filming and interviewing in the afternoon.   An excellent way to spend a Saturday.

I have just found this tiny pot which I made in about 1976 as a student. Probably the best thing I created at that time as it holds much of what still concerns me in current drawing projects. The Square, The Circle and a playful response to the world I live in.

What I like most of all is its ‘pot-ness’ whilst at the same time its ‘bird-ness’.  I remember that I had seen an image of some ancient clay toys, which inspired the painting scheme. Hand-built porcelain at just 6 c.m tall, with brushwork in iron oxide.                                            This bird with four legs still makes me chuckle.

My current work still has the same archeological connections as I continue to ponder on the ancient impulse to ‘make’.        I am still obsessing with geometry in conjunction with natural forms.             My choice of materials is still governed by a perception of ancestral  connections.  Clay, minerals, charcoal. The sense of touch is still as important in 2D work.

          Making a mask / head-dress for ‘Hart of the Wood’ .                                                                                                    This is to be a stags head with intimations of Green Man.

Film making in collaboration with ‘Artdocs’.

All will be revealed in due course.

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