Saturday, October 25, 2008

Printmaking!

Believed He Had A Chance

And I've taken up printmaking! This is my best one so far. The image is from a series of photos I took of my son Chas' 'Max Steel' doll, which I posed around the backyard. The doll on the right in the print was posed with the cherry tomatoes around his neck.

Click on the image and you can see it LARGE!!!

I plan to do more in this series, starring Max Steel, an action figure I 'borrowed' from my son.

Printmaking resumes in November- yay!

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

This idea came to me when I was falling asleep one night.

It is called "Forgiveness", and I think it has a "War of the Roses" feel to it.

There are signs of violence everywhere. She's hacked off his arm (note the cleaver behind her, with bits of his neck feathers still sticking to the bottom). Maybe she's cut off his leg, too. But that arm had put her in a cage and was pulling her backward. There are broken bits of china in the background, a symbol of marital discord. He has taken two feathers out of her plume, and they're propped up behind him. The dial on his back is set to 'broil'.

The newspapers are old and discoloured, as are the bones, signifying that the battle has been going on forever. The date on one newspaper is 'Wednesday, April 14, 1920'. She was young and beautiful once (note the fishnet stockings!) and he was handsome and virile. Now she has a dried out skull face. There is a crushed baby bird skull at her feet. He has dried-out seed pods by his knees.

There is an awkward space between them. Even the shadowbox frame is battered and peeling.
He's offering her a butterfly, which is a symbol of change and transformation. He is on his knees. He is speaking flowery language, which is symbolized by the curly wire and letter 'R' coming out of the top of his head. She is not responding, but there is a hand coming out of the sky, with the same flowery language and the same letter 'R'. He is asking forgiveness, and the hand in the sky is suggesting that she speak the same language. It is a reference to the old biblical saying 'turn the other cheek'. But she doesn't have any cheeks to turn anymore- she's old and decayed.

Does she accept? Who knows. This shadowbox depicts the tense moment before the decision.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Titan of Industry

The Titan of Industry

Well, Strange Fruit has not yet materialized. It is still stuck somewhere in my head.

In the meantime, I created The Titan of Industry, above. In the background is an old photo of King Street West in Chatham. The items inside the box make reference to the native population that was here, the Black population, the many theatres, the car industry, and the fur trade. Perhaps this piece should be subtitled "The Chatham That Once Was".

I am working on another piece for Eye For Art, which is the bi-annual art exhibition that got me started on all this two years ago. The piece will be called Forgiveness. The Curator at the Art Gallery said I should be pushing the envelope a bit more with my work, so I decided to see just how far I could push myself. I think that Forgiveness is a step down that path. How far have I gotten? Let's just say that I had fun with a saw and a Ken doll. And yes, there are bird skulls involved. It should be interesting.

This Saturday, I'm returing to the Retro Suites Hotel to install theatre-style curtains around the piece I created for the lobby. After talking with the owner a few months ago, we both agreed that the piece didn't look quite finished. He loves the theatre-style curtains that I have used on shadowboxes, including the one that he bought last year called The Wedding Circus. We'll see how the installation goes, as I can't drill into the wood trim that frames the space around the piece. So far I've come up with a tension curtain rod, some velcro, and lots of dressmaker's pins!

Work is getting in the way of my art, but I AM creating some pieces.