the art log exhibition of maquettes: part four

Welcome to the first exhibition at the Artlog. It evolved out of the interest of regular visitors in my practice of making articulated paper maquettes for use as compositional aids.  A few of them felt encouraged to produce maquettes of their own, and thereafter everything just blossomed.

Anita Mills: flatpack geometries
Bev Wigney: dog dancing
Natalie d’Arbeloff: making me
Laura Foulkes: unlikely companions
Janet Kershaw: Pinocchio redux
Philip Cooper: green man
Anita Mills: flatpack geometries. Anita Mills almost defies any attempt at description. She is a practising ceramicist, a jeweller, wood-turner, painter, teacher, art historian, writer and film producer. That she is also my friend makes me deeply content. She is a frequent visitor to our home in West Wales, and we have holidayed with her and her family in Corsica. Anita wrote the chapter on ‘Drawing’ for the monograph about my work published by Lund Humphries. I am always astounded by her insights and analysis. She really nails it when she’s on the scent of an idea.
Anita lives in N. Carolina, USA,  a distance that makes popping around for morning coffee a fantasy we like to pretend may become reality when someone invents a matter-transporting beam. If it happens, Anita and I will be at the top of the queue to trial the technology! ‘Anita, get that coffee pot on!’
Here are Anita’s maquettes for personal adornment.
Lichen and Moss Necklace
Necklace: configuration one
Necklace: configuration two
Bracelet folded
Bracelet unfolded
Brooch: configuration one
Brooch: configuration two
Brooch: configuration three
Brooch as necklace
The Maquette as adornment.
Buggy Necklace: configuration one
Buggy Necklace: configuration two
Petal Necklace: green and purple
Petal Necklace: orange, red and purple
Explore Anita’s work, HERE.
Bev Wigney: dog dancing. Bev and I have corresponded for a couple of years. We enjoy and leave comments on each others blogs. I admire the way she lives her life, and have watched with disbelief as she’s single-handedly restored the run-down historic property she acquired, into a thing of integrity and beauty. Follow her HERE.
Quite a few Maquetteers have explored their relationships with animals, and dogs in particular. Yet I’m consistently surprised by how different the approaches are, and I love the warmth and affection that shines through the various maquette canines that have appeared here.  Bev has added a fiddle-player to the mix, and I can see the dog is responding with an ecstatic jig!
 Natalie d’Arbeloff: making me. Natalie was an early Artlog maquette enthusiast. She quickly sent images of  a self-portrait in her blogger guise of  ‘Augustine.’ Moreover she compiled some animated sequences too. That she is indefatigable in matters of creativity is evident in the way she has thrown herself into another project we’re both taking part in, Folding Books, a touring exhibition for which artist Mary Husted approached practioners, suggesting they work in Chinese folding-sketchbooks to see what interesting things might come about. Natalie has been charting the progress of her folding-book on her blog, and it looks to be a marvellous thing. But it’s also robbed her of time, and so it’s all down to me… because I recommended her to Mary for this project… that she hasn’t had the time to present more than just the one maquette for the Artlog exhibition. However if you click HERE, you can also see this little figure in feisty action in Natalie’s perceptive animated take on the nature of celebrity.
Laura Foulkes: unlikely companions. Laura is another Maquetteer who arrived at my inbox out of the blue, offering some delightful maquettes that she’d felt inspired to make for the exhibition. Laura lives in the USA, but she’s dropped a hint or two that like me she’s Welsh, though I’m not sure whether she meant in the sense of being an ex-pat or with an ancestry dating back to the Pilgrim Fathers. Whichever it is, to honour the connection she made a Welsh dragon (albeit a baby one) and for some reason unknown to me, a putti. I like the anachronism of these wildly unlikely companions, and indefatigable painter of Annunciations that I am, it’s got me thinking about how I could work a Welsh dragon into my next one.
Janet Kershaw: Pinocchio redux. Here’s an intriguing idea. Some time ago Janet Kershaw made a print of some marionettes. When she spotted the Artlog maquette project, she took it into her head to cut up a copy of the print and to effectively sever the strings of the puppets to bring them to life. Pinocchio would approve. Among all the submissions  for this project I think this is the one that haunts me most. I love the notion that these have been released from the paper, springing to dynamic, anarchic existence.
Before liberation.
Free at last.
This was the only submission for which I suggested changes be made. When Janet sent the first images, she’d arranged the maquettes to match the poses in the original print. I wrote back suggesting that she try again, and really let rip with inventing expressive movement for them. She more than fulfilled that brief, and the result is what you see.
I guess I’m not supposed to have favourites in this exhibition. It’s simply not what I want to do, compare one artist’s work with another’s. But when it comes to sheer brio, these images are hard to beat. They’re touching and yet seriously sinister. The fact that you only see the back of one puppet’s head renders it disturbing. The way Janet has flung the little limbs about, and the manner in which the puppets tear around, slump, pair up, canoodle and cavort,  really makes them come alive for me. They’re full of mystery. They have a heartrendingly manic energy, and yet there’s a sense too of the fleeting, as though they know that life is short. I find them inspirational. These little creatures are the real thing. Well done Janet.
Phil Copper: green man. Phil sent this image of a foliate head maquette, a piece he said had been inspired by drawings I’d posted made for the page decorations of Marly Youmans’ forthcoming book, The Foliate Head. I’d never thought of making foliate head maquettes, but this has got me wondering!
More Maquettes in Part Five, soon.

15 thoughts on “the art log exhibition of maquettes: part four

  1. Fantastic exhibition – love the imagination each artist has released in bringing life to their maquettes …I can only marvel at what adventure they all might now be on!

  2. Goodness, ever more, so exciting.
    The deconstructed/reconstructed Green Man has me thinking , wonderful.

    I’m crazy about it.

    The liberated marionettes are hauntingly beautiful.

    Thrilled by the notion of paper jewelry, pretentious ostentation cast aside for the love of beauty, brava Anita!

    Bev’s hairy fiddle login’ hound a delight .

    Love the infant dragon and always a sucker for putti-granted strange bed fellows, but charming.

    But I must say “Not A Celebrity” Augustine touches my LA heart, gotta love a gal with gumption .
    Will check out the final soon, thank you Mr. Clive,

  3. Thanks Clive for encouraging me to pursue further with the marionettes, and I appreciate your thoughtful insights into the reading of the imagery; it must have taken a lot of work to put all these posts of everybody’s wonderful work together. I have loved seeing everyone else’s work, what a talented lot of people they all are!

  4. Children off to school, tea made and impatient to view the latest maquette posting…I am not disappointed. What an absolutely exquisite gathering. The jewellery is properly wearable too! Fabulous! Lucy and Joe come home from school and the first question is ‘has there been any post?’ and they’re not talking about the mailman!

    What a laid back dragon. I have a collection of glass and ceramic dragons bought over the years and my most precious are red welsh ones – they are sleeping of course – I was advised by the good people of Tregaron that if you ever wake a welsh dragon you have to sing him back to sleep, so we dust them very gently!

    I love the green man with his holly berries, very clever working. I noticed yesterday that it is the 350th anniversary of Mr Punch this year and one of the puppets that Janet made reminded me of the Punch and Judy characters. I just checked to make sure I was right about the anniversary and on this blog there is a photograph of a puppet cinema with a title of ‘what do puppets do on their day off’ ; the photo shows puppets watching a film. Oddly odd!

    However back to our maquetters I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite they are just all so inspiring and I am thrilled that the children are taking such an interest in the art form. I raise my tea mug to all The Free Maquetteers – all form one and one form all. Thanks to everyone so far for sharing and Clive for continuing to facilitate the viewing. Star Wars day today – May the 4th be with you. sorry 🙂

  5. Phil Cooper has hit the nail on the head. It feels like Christmas day every time I check my emails and find the next part of the exhibition. It’s a great time to start the day; I cannot believe you still have more to come!

    Janet’s stringless puppets are beautifully drawn, and Anita’s flatpack geometries are stunning. In fact all the exhibits are so individual and delightfully inventive, I want to highlight them all! Thanks once again Clive.

  6. Clive, I know that you’ve expended a lot of time and energy on these posts, and I just want to say that I’ve rejoiced in all of them–so infinitely various and surprising. I don’t imagine you’ll do this sort of thing often, but I have enjoyed the ingenuity, beauty, and unexpectedness of the maquettes.

  7. This array really grows more and more rich and astonishing. Everything that appears increases the wonder. I can understand both your reluctance to select a favourite but also your feeling for the depth and strangeness of those liberated marionettes of Janet’s.

    Nothing to do with my taking part, but I do feel this would merit something less fugitive than an on-line show, beautifully put together as it is. A book, with your commentary as text, would be wonderful…

  8. Wow – Janet’s work is incredible! There’s a freedom in line there which I long to have a snippet of myself… Here’s to snipping of strings (of creative ruts in particular)
    Bravo one and all! 🙂

  9. wow! these are all so cool 🙂
    i love those necklaces!! they are incredibly inventive! the one with the branches, at the top, especially, but i also really love the black and white one–and the brooch is a cool idea, for endless variations!
    the freed marionettes really create their own little universe…i agree that the back of the head has something to do with it–that together with the one that looks right out at us? but the costumes are really special, too! i love the effect!

    i am amazed, again, at the stylistic range–this is really an astonishing exhibit!

  10. Thanks so much for including my little figures in the exhibition, Clive. It has been so much fun seeing each person’s contributions. As Natalie has commented, maybe this will inspire a new art movement!

  11. Each one of these posts has been so chock full of beautiful, mysterious, inspiring images that to have four of them feels like one Chrismas day after another after another – thanks so much for all the hard work putting this together Clive it’s been an absolute joy

  12. Clive, you make me blush. Yesterday’s group and today’s are all marvelous! I agree with you about Janet’s marionette figures… haunting!! Thanks again for hosting this wonderful collection of maquettes! xo AM

  13. Thank you very much for including me, Clive. In such an amazing line-up of maquetting (a new art movement?) talent, my contribution is insignificant but I’m very happy to be here. Indeed it would be difficult to choose favourites among the wonders you’ve exhibited so far so I’ll keep my preferences secret!
    This is a bit like an exclusive X-factor show!

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