I’m not sure what’s going on but I’ve been working in a kind of frenzy for a couple of weeks – waking up early in the morning and so many ideas constantly pinging about in my head. All rather exhausting actually!
Anyway, the result of this frenzied activity is that I’ve finished the new Pride, seen here in all his rainbow glory …
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a new Pride (a gay lion in rainbow colours) as a housewarming gift for my son and his partner who are building a house near Melbourne. I plan to show it as a Fabulous Beast in the exhibition and then it will go to Australia. Matthew and Casey met in Dubai while working as Cabin Crew for Emirates, so the work includes their crew name badges and some Emirates buttons, as well as Matthew’s bright orange crew badge from his previous time with easyJet.
It also incorporates things to represent their different nationalities – for Matthew, a red London bus, red post-box, Big Ben, Union Jack flag, London 2012 Olympic keyring and Father Christmas. For Aussie Casey, a crocodile, parrot, kangaroo and koala.
The lion’s mane is full of characters from TV and Disney films like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, Homer and Marge Simpson, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, Fireman Sam, Peter Pan, Spiderman, Power Rangers and Noddy. It’s quite a fun crowd! (Of course there is also ‘filling’ with non-relevant objects like dinosaurs, beads and plastic sausages!)
Last week, Janec and I visited Powderham Castle to see our exhibition space and start planning where and how we will display our work. At the moment, the exhibition space is full of ‘stuff’ from one of the castle towers which is currently being renovated.
A box of very old leather boots and ice skates made me recall the magical children’s classic Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, which I loved reading to my children …
When everything has been moved back to the tower, the space will be re-decorated with an oak floor and white walls. I came away feeling re-inspired and very excited about the exhibition! I thought it would be fun to take some ‘before and after photos’, so here is fellow artist Janec, posing in the space ‘before’ …
Here’s my latest Fabulous Beast – The Revolutionary Feminist Iguana…
This one was great fun to make – I love the colours and am so happy with it.
Some details – the small textile sample (bottom R in image below L) is something I made during my degree course using heat-shrinking fabric (I can’t remember the name), beads and orange fishing line found on my local beach.
(Meanwhile, the frog remains unfinished, awaiting its fate…)
Many thanks for all suggestions for going forward with the frog – everyone has suggested a different solution but the clear message is not to abandon him! I’ll finish the iguana first (going well) and then see if I can find a way to resolve Froggy…
I started making this frog at the beginning of December and just got stuck! My intention was to make a fun and quirky piece using dolls heads for the bumpy skin as well as other doll parts, but it just looks ugly and ‘clunky’. I don’t like the puce colour of the doll parts and I have concerns that, over time, the plastic of the older dolls may become brittle and shatter. I’m about to dismantle it! (I’ve already picked pieces from the face.) Does anyone think it’s worth saving/persevering?? Sometimes you just have to admit defeat.
Three days ago, I started work on an iguana – wonderful colours of blue, orange, black and white – but also with many surprising hues of other colours too. Work has begun in a frenzy of enthusiasm – first laying down key pieces from which I can project/foresee how the finished piece will turn out. Having not used blue materials for a while, I’ve collected a lot of interesting blue things which makes the process faster and easier. I’ve been working on it more or less continuously for three days – the perfect activity for cold rainy days during a lockdown!
Working today on the final glue layer of the new tiger – my least favourite job. It’s very messy – Mod Podge glue on a paintbrush between the materials, wiping off excess and using tweezers to remove any lumps or stringy bits of glue from the glue gun.
I still have the background to complete tomorrow – but nearly there!
Car boot sales are not allowed during lockdown so my most accessible source of materials has dried up. I’ve been slightly concerned about finding enough ‘stuff’ to produce work for the exhibition – the tiger and frog were stuck for lack of materials to finish them. However, I’ve spent the last two days (dull and drizzly) in my work room – tidying up/sorting out/ clearing some space. It’s been so cathartic!
Not only have I cleared my mind and lost that guilty feeling (I’d been putting off the job for a long time) but I also discovered long-buried materials I didn’t know were there. It’s as if a whole load of new supplies have arrived – and with it, new inspiration for work. Hooray!
Nothing from the cull will be wasted – I’ve recently discovered that Rachel (who helps with our garden) makes Steam Punk Art. She can use materials which I can’t – eg very heavy jewellery and metal chains. Rachel’s eyes light up when I give her anything, just as mine do when I get a new materials. Win-win.