the art log exhibition of maquettes: part five

Welcome to the final post of this Exhibition of Maquettes at the Artlog. The idea for 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.

I’d like to thank all those who contributed work to the show. You’ve been enormously creative, and in so many ways. I hope for a few of you the making of articulated figures will become a regular part of your studio practice. I can see already how what started for some of the Maquetteers as a light-hearted game, evolved into a serious exploration of compositional form. Be sure to keep up the good work. Remember that the best work always comes when you allow yourself to be playful.


Shellie Byatt: hand maidens 

Pamela Jenkins: maori journey

Jacqui Hicks with Joe, Liam, William and Lucy: The Junior Maquetteers

Marja-Leena: owl woman resurrection

Clive Hicks-Jenkins: through play, discovery

Shellie Byatt: hand maidens: Shellie, a painter, has told me that she occasionally uses cut paper elements to try out different outcomes for works in progress, and so making the maquettes was something she felt completely natural about. These girls-in-their-finery stand so calmly facing the viewer, gazes direct and their arms crossed protectively like virgin saints about to be martyred. The maquettes have quiet presences that attract by virtue of the stillness and anticipation of what may happen next. At first I thought them to be purely and simply beautiful, in the formal sense of the word. But their shared gaze and hieratic pose of protection ultimately make them much more than that, and I’m drawn back to try to fathom the mystery.

See more of Shellie’s work HERE.

Pamela Jenkins: Maori journey. Pamela is my long-lost-cousin. We met once, when she was a child, but through geographic distance and the broken lines of communication consequent to when the elders of a family… in this case, my father… die, we had lost touch. Then from far away in New Zealand, at the click of a button she found me, thanks to Google. We corresponded, and last year were reunited here in West Wales.  My cousin’s cat, Jeffrey the Devon Rex, has won many admirers here in the recent past, and now Pamela herself has ventured onto the Artlog with these fearsomely-visaged Maori maquettes. Pamela is married to Steve, and has been immersing herself in his people’s culture in many artistic projects, of which these maquettes are but one.

Jacqui Hicks with Joe, Liam, William and Lucy: The Junior Maquetteers. My friend Jacqui kept a bunch of children in her care engrossed with a Maquetteering session, and the results are a delight. Jacqui’s own ‘Dancing Cat’ got the ball rolling, but thereafter the team were off like rockets. So let’s all raise a toast to Jacqui and the Junior Maquetteers. If this exhibition had been a competition, they would definitely have been the winners!

 Jacqui’s Cat

Joe’s Dragon

Liam’s Dragon

Joe’s Garbage Can Cat

Lucy drew this splendid caterpillar, and Liam helped her put it together.

William’s Dragon.

The Ace Team: Joe, Liam, William and Lucy, not forgetting their Captain, Jacqui.

Marja-Leena: owl woman resurrection. Artist/printmaker Marja Leena used the same technique as fellow-Maquetteer Janet, which was essentially to cannibalise a print as the source material. This was the last maquette submitted for the exhibition, and it was the one that nearly got away. I only knew about it because Marja-Leena posted at her blog about wanting to get something done in time for the exhibition, but fearing she’d missed the deadline. So I left a comment urging her to take heart and finish it, and promising I would lever it in by hook or by crook. Here Marja-Leena describes the process of making the maquette:

‘As a printmaker, I do a lot of trial proofs (tests) to assure the final image will be what I want for the edition. I save a lot of those proofs and sometimes use them for other work or play. As I was cleaning and re-organizing my studio recently, some collagraph proofs beckoned, and inspired also by Clive’s work with maquettes, I felt that sudden urge to play, to try out a maquette-like figure. I don’t believe it’s fully a maquette à la Clive because it lacks those wonderful articulated joints, yet I was delighted to be able to vary the ‘body language’ with just some subtle adjustments.’

‘I call this my “Owl-Woman”, a name that emerged in a blog post about the print with this head and wings which I first used in ARKEO # 4. The many responses from readers were a surprise, a delight and an inspiration because so many saw this figure as a mythical one from their own background culture, just as I saw it as Louhi in the Finnish epic Kalevala as well as something from the roots of the First Nations peoples of Northwest Coast of Canada.’ 

‘Here now is a newly revived Owl-Woman in a joyful dance.’

Clive Hicks-Jenkins: through play, discovery.

Maquette of the Dragon for ‘Green George’

 Maquette of a Lion  for ‘The Grave Dug by Beasts’ 

Maquette of Saint Hervé for ‘Sleep Fall’

Maquette of a bird for ‘The Prophet Fed by a Raven’

Maquette for ‘Equus’

Unused Maquette for Equus


Maquette of the Devil for ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’

It’s been a blast. My thanks to you all for your energy and enthusiasm. We must do it again.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins, May 2012

14 thoughts on “the art log exhibition of maquettes: part five

  1. Thankyou everyone for that wonderful journey – the connection it has given in so many ways – both in the taking part and the observing. And I thank you Clive from the bottom of my heart for the pure pleasure gained from your dedication to bring art to us all. I am so lucky that we have been reunited after so many decades and that I have been able to experience a little of your inspiring world.

  2. I am a little late to the party, I am just catching up on everything now, but these maquettes have all been so amazing. I am honestly just completely dazzled by all of the wonders I have seen in these posts. Each artist has clearly brought so much to this project. I was very surprised by the jewellery-makers’ maquettes, they really forced me to bend my mind around and rethink this whole medium… so incredible! But really, I think I fell a little in love with each maquette I saw. Thank you so much Clive for taking the time to put this whole thing together, it is just overwhelmingly good!

  3. What a wonderful project, Clive….it’s been so inspiring to see the fabulous variety of work – I’ve loved everything that I’ve seen. It’s obvious that putting this together has taken an enormous amount of time and energy…thank you so much for doing it. I must add that, as well as enjoying the work itself, I’ve loved your commentary on the pieces – so eloquent and thoughtful. Here’s to the next event! (*hears Clive groan quietly and tiptoe away*……)

  4. My thanks to all of you for the positive feedback, both here and on your own blogsites. There have been a good many bleary-eyed late night/early morning sessions in front of the screen when I’ve balked at the amount of time it’s taken getting the five parts of the exhibition ready and posted. However, the enthusiasm of contributors and visitors alike has been infectious, and I too have been inspired by the images and ideas that have arrived at the Artlog.

    But don’t let it all just end here. Be sure to make creative use of the things learned. Heads down and get busy!

  5. Absolutely magical! I’m crazy about Marja-Leena’s owl-woman, and so many others. Bravo to everyone and thank you, Clive, for inspiring the artists and making this happen.

  6. Wow. This is such an inspiring set of posts! I’ve been looking for some time to break through into my internal secret garden and to create a vocabulary, a menagerie, of things and tokens for a series of paintings of that interior world. I think maquettes could provide a way into that space, similar to the way Zoe Blue’s maquettes became keys to paintings. I am so excited about this. Thank you so much for the time, work, and encouragement that collected and exhibited this remarkable set of images, including your own.

  7. A wonderful ending to a spectacular feast, thanks for organising this expo Clive. The party is over, but I am sure we are all left with the inspiration to do more. It was great fun to be involved with the artlog maqueteers-all for one and one for all! Thanks.

  8. This has been the most astonishingly beautiful, varied and exciting exhibition, Clive! Hard to pick favourites, each artist is unique. Thank you so much, Clive, for inspiring us to try maquetting, for your encouragement to each of us to join in (especially me at the last moment!), and all your hard work in curating this. I am awed to be included in all this wonderful company on your Artlog. Applause!

  9. Splendiferous, Clive! And I’m so glad you urged Marja-Leena to get hers in… All five posts are wonderful and a feast. So glad that your little and big artists all caught fire on this project.

  10. thank you so much for doing this, clive! it’s been a second (and third and fourth) round of inspiration–
    shellie’s figures are lovely, especially the one with the little flower-wreath, and i love how you set up the maori rowers–as i was scrolling slowly down, the faces turning towards me were quite a surprise! those are wonderful figures!
    i adore jacqui’s dancing cat!!
    and the owl woman is especially beautiful–what a strange and mythological-seeming creature. such elegant motions and i love the markings, as well–a truly unique creature, i hope to see it again!

    i love that equus figure—i’m looking at that and this owl woman, and also jodi’s figure, and my little brain is steaming….mythological creatures…..hmmmm….

  11. Thrice three cheers for you and all the maquetteers, Clive. It’s been absolutely splendid, and I feel quite bereft now it has come to an end, except I shall be coming back to look again and again…

    (Love Lucy’s caterpillar!)

  12. Applause to all the maqueteers and to you, Clive, for the task of putting these posts together, and for the inspiration that you gave to all of us to get out our scissors and start snipping! Now, I must away as I am packed and on the road to Nova Scotia!

  13. Ha ha :-))) Clive you are very kind but in such esteemed and creatively artistic company as we have seen over the last few days it would be very difficult to pick a winner. I know the children are in awe of what can be achieved. I hope they are inspired to continue or at the very least remember what they have seen and done and apply it to any future art work. Lucy is doing art at GCSE so we will watch her space with interest. My thanks for including them in the gallery. Here’s to the next one. Thank you for the idea that got us all going in the first place, and thanks to everyone else for taking the time to post your work as well.

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