Thursday, 9 January 2020

Rug Face

A few months back, I posted about the mould I made for the creation of a series of large wall-mounted face mask sculptures, shortly followed by a post about the first piece (not counting the existing red wall mask piece that I made, in order to cast the mould in the first place), Fetish Face, that I made from it. Well, I've just finished my second piece from the same mould. Whereas Fetish Face was constructed from human hair and resin, this new piece, Rug Face, is made from pieces of an old Persian or Oriental (I'm not quite sure which) rug.

'Rug Face', 2020, giant wall-mounted face sculpture by artist, Wayne Chisnall

The great thing about using the mould is that it allows me to experiment with a wide variety of materials and yet still produce pieces of a uniform shape, that are clearly recognisable as being of a series. For Rug Face I was interested to find out how the different sections of rug would work together so I had some sections butting up to each other and some overlapping, especially in areas where the rug had become more threadbare. I'm quite happy with the results although for the next rug one I'll probably try it with the sections just butting up together, so that the surface exists all on the same plane. However, the next piece that I make from the mould will probably be constructed from a different material altogether. I'm still looking forward to making a ceramic mosaic version of the giant face mask sculpture, which is the reason that I made the mould in the first place. I'm currently about to lay some new tiles down in my kitchen (after a back-breaking week of pulling up the old ones) so hopefully I'll pick up some skills from that, that I can transfer to the making of the mosaic mask.

'Fetish Face', 2019, hair & resin, 3 views of giant wall-mounted face sculpture by artist, Wayne Chisnall

When I initially set about constructing the mould I intended for the face to be simple and gender/race-neutral so I went for a very stylised form. Interestingly, it ended up looking not unlike a simplified version of a traditional African mask. In constructing the original positive, from which the mould was cast, I wanted to draw attention to the similarity in structure of the mouth and eye lids, so deliberately made them the same size and shape. I think that by making the first piece out of human hair I ended up with something that looks like a cross between Chewbacca and an African mask, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the use of a variety of diverse materials effects the appearance of future sculptures in the series.

Mould made for the creation of giant wall-mounted face sculptures by artist, Wayne Chisnall

Krampus Christmas Cards

Some years, if I've got my act together in time, I have a go at making a few hand-painted or hand-printed Christmas cards. This time round I just about managed to get my act together in time.  Although it would have been better if I'd started making them a lot earlier, especially since I made the mistake to posting on social media an image of my work-in-progress card-making activities, and suddenly there was a bigger demand for them than I'd anticipated.
 
Hand-painted 2019 'Krampus' Christmas card by artist, Wayne Chisnall.


In keeping with my usual dark festive theme, I went for an image of Krampus. He's the horned, anthropomorphic figure from Central European folklore, described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved.

Hand-painted 2019 'Krampus' Christmas cards (work-in-progress) by artist, Wayne Chisnall.

Hand-drawing and painting each card individually was a bit labour intensive and time consuming but at least it meant that every card was slightly different from the rest of the set. Maybe, if I do the same thing next Yuletide, I'll make a start on them in November. But probably not.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Festive UCLH Children's Workshop


I'm pleased to say that I recently had the privilege of running my second children's hospital workshop as a volunteer through the charity, BrightFutures UK.


This time it was at University College London Hospital, where we made festive/Christmas tree decorations, using recycled polystyrene, plaster bandage and paint. The workshop seemed to go very well and it was a pleasure to work alongside a dedicated team of hospital staff, volunteers, charity staff, and the children and young people who are patients at the hospital.


Bright Futures UK, the first charity to provide support to young individuals who are forced to take time out from education due to medical circumstances – both mental health and physical health. If you would like to help, be it mentoring, tutoring or by organising workshops then please feel free to check out the charities programmes page.

If you would like to help, be it mentoring, tutoring or by organising workshops (or in any other way) then please feel free to check out the charity's programmes page at brightfuturesuk.org

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Hydra Horsey


This one is a painting from memory but turned out a bit more sinister-looking than I'd originally intended (quelle-surprise).
 
'Hydra Horsey', 2019, oil on canvas by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

It's inspired by something that I saw a few months ago when I went to see a school play with my brother, in which his oldest son was performing. The play was a mash-up of various Greek myths and in it the Hydra, a multi-headed serpentine monster, was played by a group of kids, all of which were clad in black with black tights on their heads. After the play I was standing outside with my bro whilst the cast of the play were running around the playing field, full of post-performance excitement. Whilst chatting with my brother I noticed in the distance, two of the Hydra heads from the play were on all fours and giving rides to a couple of even smaller kids, who were using the legs from the tights as reins. It was a bizarre and funny sight. I remember thinking at the time ' I must do painting or two of this'.

'Hydra Horsey' (work in progress), 2019, oil on canvas by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

I posted some photos of the painting on social media, during the various stages of completion, and received a few comments from people likening the rider figure to that of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. This wasn't initially intentional but I guess that there's often a lot of things going on subconsciously, and when you make artwork it's sometimes hard to block out all the external influences that one gets bombarded by.  But that's also the beauty of art; it's a language with multiple readings and constructed from layers of diverse thoughts and ideas. The process of creating art is one of constant discovery, where each brush stroke or unintentional mark can suggest an alternate direction. I'm pretty sure that the children I saw on the playing field that day were girls (although they were quite far away in the distance) and when I started the painting the figure of the rider I wasn't sure what gender it was going to be. All I knew was that it was going to have a mop of blond hair. Maybe the Trump/Johnson comments influenced the direction of gender or maybe the work had already decided the direction.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital Workshop

This Sunday, just gone, I ran a children's workshop at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where we made model animals and puppets. I got involved with this programme after being contacted by the charity, Bright Futures UK, and asked if I would like to volunteer on a regular basis to run some art workshops. This is my first one with them and I'm looking forward to being involved with many more.


At the workshop we made the models out of recycled materials (mostly cardboard and packaging), which we covered in plaster bandage and then painted. As you can imagine it got a little messy at times but everyone had a lot of fun. We soon realised that with enough glitter and googly eyes, everything looks great.


As the workshops are a drop-in ones (a mixture of patients and their siblings) I wasn't able to assess the children's ages, abilities and how long they would be there for, so I prepared in advance by making a few finished and unfinished examples. That way the children could see some finished products as well as the stages that let up to their completion. It also meant that any of the kids with limited abilities or who were only able to drop in for a brief period were able to quickly finish off an almost completed piece and paint it before they had to leave.     


Bright Futures UK is the first charity to provide support to young individuals who are forced to take time out from education due to medical circumstances – both mental health and physical health. If you would like to help, be it mentoring, tutoring or by organising workshops (or in any other way) then please feel free to check out the charity's programmes page.

Monday, 14 October 2019

'Mars And Beyond' - Promo Video

From 20th Feb-15th March 2020 I'll be one of many artists and contributors taking part in 'Mars and Beyond'; an immersive event packed with art, talks, film screenings, music, VR and more.


The event is the brainchild of the artist, Oskar OK Krajewski, founder of Art-Recyclism the platform for artists and everyone who cares about our planet.
"My team and I are amidst preparations for a month-long show exploring the wellbeing of the Earth set within a post-apocalyptic and futuristic background."

The whole event will be immersive and packed with audiovisual stimulants, filling over 5 floors at the iconic Bargehouse in Central London (behind the OXO Tower).
The venue offers 13 spaces over 5 floors, with a combined floor size of 1,400 sq metres (13,000 sq ft.). Each floor will have a unique focus and theme. There will also be a shop selling work by the contributing artists. 

Mars & Beyond merges two crucial and critical themes of the 21st century.
Firstly, the catastrophic rise in global warming, deforestation, animal species extinction and plastic pollution in our oceans. Secondly, the revival of the space race and space ventures increasingly funded by the private sector.  

Mars & Beyond will explore the human race now and in the future. We will examine the science of our planet (lower floors) and imaginatively create alternative futures (top floors). The event aims educate, warn, entertain and inspire audiences. This will be a unique and unforgettable experience. A blend of fine art and immersive events which will arrest all the senses which demands repeat visits and encourages a wider conversation and call to arms.
 
Artists and Contributors:

Venue:  Bargehouse’, OXO Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Dates:  20th February-15th March 2020
https://www.oxotower.co.uk/venue/bargehouse/

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Fetish Face


You may remember, a few months back, I posted about the mould I made for the creation of a series of large wall-mounted face mask sculptures. Well, I've just produced my first piece (not counting the existing red wall mask piece that I made, in order to cast the mould in the first place) from it. I'm looking forward to experimenting with a wide variety of materials in the production of the series; materials such as plastics, wood, ceramics, fabric etc. But for this first piece, 'Fetish Face', I used human hair and resin.

Three views of  'Fetish Face', human hair sculpture by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

When I initially set about constructing the mould I intended for the face to be simple and gender/race-neutral so I went for a very stylised form. Interestingly, it ended up looking not unlike a simplified version of a traditional African mask. This may be, in part, because I wanted to draw attention to the similarity in structure of the mouth and eye lids, so deliberately made them the same size and shape. I think that by making this first piece out of human hair I've ended up with something that looks like a cross between Chewbacca and an African mask, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the use of a wide variety of materials effects the appearance of future sculptures in the series.

'Fetish', human hair sculpture by British artist, Wayne Chisnall

The title for the piece refers back to my first hair sculpture, 'Fetish', which I made in the late 90s. 'Fetish' was one of four wheeled tower sculptures (all made from very different materials) all of which, in some way, relate to our emotional ties with material objects and possessions, and how these relationships effect our freedom of mobility. Being a sculptor (therefore reliant on lots of materials, tools and equipment), a bit of a hoarder, and a film buff, I often think on the Tyler Durden quotes from 'Fight Club' - "The things you own, end up owning you." and "It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything." But I'm definitely no Tyler Durden.