Every piece should of art should tell a story, how you create that narrative is as much part of the piece of art as the finished piece. For the final piece of ‘my’ course Painting into sculpture, we were asked to study and take our inspiration from the artist Paula Rego. As well as her outstanding draughtswomanship she adds an element of surrealism with the inclusion of puppet like figures that cause us to reflect on the meaning of the painting.
We were asked to choose an object that had personal meaning for us.
This very small teddy appeared on my desk at school several years unclaimed I took him home where he has been on my bedside table ever since. The piece was about letting go and just let the making of the piece dictate the direction. It reminded me of how writers talk about how the characters in their stories take them in unexpected directions.
The bear which is about 50cms tall was made from newspaper, tights and masking tape, with wax for the nose and eyes. I kept thinking about the role hands play in childhood, so many things we learn to do with our hands and they can take on many guises from comforting to threatening. I made a pair of hammer house style pair of hands, with-in them I made a wax model of my bear. I was walking around my local garden centre when I saw the wavy wires normally used as plant supports. I bought them not knowing clearly how I was going to use them. I got my Year 2 class involved and got them to draw on old style labels a picture of their favourite toy.
With the sculpture complete we were asked to add another element which would create another dimension for our drawing. I added a background fabric the design of which added to the sense of entrapment.
From there we made a drawing of the piece.
It was interesting to see the way that the drawing added a new narrative in a way that was not possible with the sculpture alone. Working in this way of allowing the materials and the making to dictate the shape of the piece was at once scary and exciting but one that I would certainly recommend.