If you've been following my recent posts--and, honestly, who would be?--you know that my latest assemblage has been inspired by that Middle Ages phenomenon know as the plague doctor. They would visit the homes of those inflicted with the plague, more so to tabulate victims and gather statistics than to heal, often wearing masks with curved beaks (shown below).
Whether we realize it or not--and, given the lack of media attention about it, who would?--bees have been disappearing worldwide at an alarming rates.
I'm sure many would say, "So what. They're just little insects." It just so happens that those little insects are big-time pollinators and our food--ergo our LIVES--sources depend on them. This piece is my commentary on that plague. Will we heed the warning?
I wrestled with the angle of the bird skull. Should I mount it so that it's 90 degrees with the background, or should I turn it at a more significant angle? The head of the gentleman in the vintage photo is turned at an angle, so that helped make the final decision. The beak points at the same angle as his nose--and I'm happy with the look.
Today I will (unless I get distracted by another project--which is a strong possibility) finish the upper compartment in the clock housing piece ("The Birds and Bees"). My plan is to cut three holes in the vintage photo, removing the adorable children's faces--bwah-haha. I'll then place three resin bird skulls in the face-holes. The result should be dark in mood and, hopefully, will have a kind of plague doctor look. In my mind this look is appropriate, given that the piece deals with the environment and the plague we've created.
Today was fairly productive. I divided the clock housing into upper and lower compartments. After that I primarily worked on the lower compartment--as shown in the pics below. First I did some simple collage work on the walls and ceiling of the compartment; the paper is from a 1950 elementary science text book, on which I used a green tissue overlay. Next I mounted a globe image (from an 1899 Rand-McNally Atlas) on 1/4" plywood for stability and affixed it in the compartment. Finally, I attached a few pieces of branch in the foreground. The plans for the upper compartment are darker--both in color (or lack thereof) and mood. Check back for updates.
Here are some pics of today's work:
This cool clock housing--for the life of me I can't remember where I picked it up--has been tucked away in my work space for quite some time. Well, starting today it's getting the attention it deserves as the container for my next assemblage.
Where do I see this piece going? At this point, I have no friggin' idea--but that's the fun part. I'm sure my muse will check-in with me in a bit with some ideas. I'll keep you posted...
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.