Thursday, January 5, 2017

Entomological Elements - Mixed Media Sculpture

Entomological Elements hung in Timeless Textiles Gallery. 
My latest big piece of work is "Entomological Elements" - let's call it EE ... It is a mixed media sculpture in response to the theme "Elements" for a current exhibition by the Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists. If you a regular reader of this blog or and Empress Wu Designs Facebook follower, you probably know that my thing is "stick dolls".... dolls made with sticks. EE is just an extension of those , with a piece of local driftwood as its base.

EE is also  a celebration of the natural elements depicted by insects from different parts of the world.
 EARTH- Common Black Ground Beetle (Pterostichus melanarius) - Europe/Eurasia
AIR - Blue Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio Ulysses) - Australia
WATER- Golden winged skimmer dragonfly (Libellula auripennis) - Central/North America
FIRE - Scarlet Fire Beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea)- Europe

Common Black Ground Beetle - close up : Wilma Simmons 
Blue Ulysses Butterfly - close up : Wilma Simmons 
Golden winged skimmer dragonfly - close up : Wilma Simmons 
Scarlet Fire Beetle- close up: Wilma Simmons 
Materials: Paper, paper clay, found driftwood and twigs, fabric, thread, wire, paint and sealant.

The head is sculpted from polymer clay and paper clay and twigs. As shown, I sculpted a fairly basic head in polymer clay and cured it before adding features and the twigs from the skull with paper clay. Once the whole piece was dry, it was then covered in cheesecloth ( or kitchen muslin) and painted with acrylic paint and attached to the drift wood. I prepared the driftwood, first by washing it, and then placing it in the freezer for about 48 hours (to get rid of any of the real bugs and beetles).
The beetles were made from foil armatures covered in fabric and bound with sewing and embroidery stranded cotton , with thread covered wire. The butterflies are machine stitched with wire as are the dragonflies although their bodies are a similar construction to the beetles.
The fabrics used are both commercial and hand dyed cottons

 “Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. 
Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.” 

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