Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ten Line Tales

I have started a new page on my blog called Ten Line Tales. It's going to contain stories poetry and prose written by all sorts of people in response to some of the artworks on my website.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The end is in sight....

I'm almost at the end of my degree. This is a photo of my stuff waiting to be assessed. My website is all organised now (as part of the Professional Practice module). Just waiting to see what work the tutors choose for the show....

Monday, 26 May 2014

'The Daughter of the Minotaur'

The female minotaur sculpture is next up in my series of posts discussing some of the ideas behind my work. She has elicited a huge variety of responses from those who have encountered her. Some quite sinister. Perhaps because Jesus with little children is such a familiar scenario.
She is actually an amalgamation of several ideas and influences. My father used to tell us how, as a small child, he was occasionally taken to visit an old aunt whom he was obliged to kiss and hug. It is a common enough childhood experience. He used to dread it. To his young eyes she has a wobbly cow-like chin and huge breasts which he feared may suffocate him as he was clutched to them! The Daughter of the Minotaur represents those characters and situations which convention (and adults) seems to approve and accept but we, as children, are really not so sure about. Sometimes it's all in the child's vivid imagination (as with my father) but unfortunately sometimes the minotaur is very sinister. 

In this second piece I have started to develop the minotaur's story. She is not an altogether sympathetic character I'm afraid.

Her age should mean she is revered but her circumstances are not very grand. She is an imperious creature, sitting in a rather dilapidated armchair, reliant on relatives (those she still has power over) to do her bidding. I have put her on the sort of trolley a child might pull along.

One day I will create a series of pictures featuring my minotaur.
(This is a little drawing from my sketchbook)
But I will continue to be intrigued by other people's interpretations of The Daughter of the Minotaur.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Good Girl

A few people have asked me about the stories behind some of the sculptures which appeared in my post on photograhing my work.

I thought I'd start with this piece which actually has evolved a bit since I photographed it.

In several of the classic Fairy Tales the bad daughter/stepsister ends up with frogs and toads coming out of her mouth and the good girl (who is always the most beautiful one) has 'pearls and roses dropping from her lips...'
It's a good example of how moralising the tales are and when I was reading one of them some time last year I just thought oh!.. for heaven's sake....You really can have too much of a good thing!
So this girl has just been too much of a goody-goody.

The piece above is made with actual beads glued into a pile which was quite difficult and didn't really stand close inspection. However it was much admired on my shelf at uni so I thought I'd try and find an easier way to make more of them. Below is the latest version (although it's not such a good photograph)

I made a silicone mould of the original (destroying it in the process). Then I cast it in plaster. I painted it with pearlised paint, added a few extra beads and some roses. The legs are still made of porcelain.
I haven't got it quite right but it's getting there....

Monday, 19 May 2014

Frog Prince update

No, the life size Frog hasn't turned into a Prince even though he has been kissed quite a few times. But he is now finished and being assessed at uni at this moment along with all my other work. Here he is clutching his paper crowns looking a bit forlorn...

I thought you might be interested to see some more work in progress pictures showing the various stages in his creation.

I've already shown you the making of the head mould. It took 33ltrs of porcelain slip to cast it! I'm not actually communing with it here but checking that the last of the slip has drained out. 

The leg moulds turned out to be more tricky to use than the head mould. I would put the pouring hole in the side if I ever made such a thing again. Here they are drying in the sun with the arms and hands.

At least they didn't slump in the kiln which was my main worry. Paul, the ceramics technician at UWE, fired the parts very slowly just to be sure. They seemed to shrink even more than usual though.

The armature for his body is made of wood and a cut up mannequin torso. It's very sturdy!
He is padded with foam (and a lot of duct tape) to make him look rather portly and slumped.

Fitting his fabric covering was really difficult because the cotton I used was rather thick making the hand sewn parts very hard work.
Now he's patiently waiting for the right girl to come along!