Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tentacled Dreadnought

When I was handed one of C.F. Martin and Company's rather lovely Dreadnought acoustic guitars by art collector and guitar aficianado, James Dyer, and instructed to do whatever I wanted to it, I was, at first, a little apprehensive. As much as I love working on bits of old wood and other pre-existing materials, when presented with something so beautifully made, and perfect as it is, it can be a bit daunting when asked to add to it – especially if that addition renders the object in question unfit for its original purpose; although, sometimes it's that meddling with the expected that art uses to help us to question the world we know around us, and which we often take for granted (not that I'm necessarily making any such grand claims in this case).

Another daunting aspect of being given free rein on any project is that there are no boundaries to help focus the mind. So I decided to look to some of my recent work and drew inspiration from a couple of paintings that I had done on pieces of antique wood, salvaged from some of the Victoria and Albert Museum's old packing crates. The piece that I especially drew inspiration from was my Tentacle Touch Teddy painting, which was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum's latest Vamalgam show.

To achieve the effect of the tentacle emerging from inside the guitar I first had to create an additional wooden section that partly filled in the sound hole (on which to paint that section of the tentacle) – thus rendering it pretty much useless as a musical instrument, but hopefully transforming the Dreadnought into an new art piece in itself.

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