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

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.