At the end of yesterday's post, I showed a photo of an unfinished witness holding a baby. As I had been trying to re-do my unsuccessful efforts, I removed the child figure. Although I never got back to my witness figure, I did play around with the baby section...and that led me to try another child figure:
This one, sibling, has a layer of fairly heavy wool covered by dyed cotton cloth: that's the base on which I sewed all the toy segments. When it was nearly finished, I attached it to a firmer base of industrial felt (the same industrial felt that I use as backing for my tiles in this too shall pass).
I know that other artists use assemblage techniques to cover the surface of a sculptural form, and the ones I've seen are random collections of small objects. To me, that seems like all effect, no content. And I need content.
So the objects on this piece are not just sitting there. It's a battle scene, with dinosaurs fighting aliens and ninjas, plastic soldiers and Star Wars figures, and a fossil skeleton driving a tank. On the head, a toy general watches from the castle window, playing the more intellectual battles of checkers and chess. And at the very heart, a bunny.
The plastic figures were each cut in half (some with a neat little detail-handsaw, some with exacto knives and razor blades) so I could get them to lay more-or-less flat. I printed wording on some fine silk fabric, then glued it over the bodies of various dinosaurs, allowing one Iguanodon to read "HUGE wild beasts that devour everything". Meanwhile a terribly vicious Spinosaurus with razor sharp claws is emerging from a door to join the fight.
I think I pretty much nailed the battle scene, but I really should have started with a less static pose for this sibling.
Youngster 18"h x 43"w
Which brings us to Youngster, where I started with a figure tummy-down on the floor, playing with cars and trucks. This one has just as much action, but the form also has movement, and I managed to arrange the pieces to provide a visual flow. See the line of round wheels rolling from his elbow to his foot? And the yellow highlighting the arm in the forefront? Much better!
In both of these pieces, the violent action is juxtaposed with cuddly creatures. At this traffic jam-up, teddy bears are in 2 of the trucks, with a smiling Lego face in another, and Snoopy skating happily through it all. The head may be yelling CARMAGEDDON! but Piglet is at the controls.
A quick side-view shot of Youngster on my bed. I removed the rubber tread from a toy tank and sewed it along the edge.
Chameleon 12" h x 16"w
In purely visual terms, this might be the best (it was the one accepted for a museum show, which rejected the other 2) but it has no real content. The only thing happening here is the color change.
Since the next toy-figure I tried was a resounding failure ("Diane, it looks like a fish, not a girl") I moved on to other things.