Keeping my Promises
No more copies and here I am. I don't know if this is a beginning of a new phase, or just some ugly experiment, anyway it's new. I'm absolutely and positively determined to keep my promises and stop practicing and copying. So "new", however ugly, is good.
Besides, I have to tackle the issues of composition, theme choice, medium, and all the problems described in the previous post. A tough challenge. But very inspiring.
Deciding that my ideas are worth a try is very liberating. This is my first…uhm, how can I call it? Project? Plaque. This is the sketch of what I had in mind.
When a baby is born, everybody takes part in that awful game of finding analogies and differences with other family members: the poor creature is bound to have "grandfather's eyes", "auntie's feet", "grannie's chin".
I didn't care much before turning into a mother, but now when I hear this kind of remarks I get really mad. Every baby is seen as sum of others' parts, like some sort of little Frankenstein's monster. On a broader scale, the same applies to grown-ups. People try to put labels on others all the time. They find it reassuring.
Back to the plaque. What I tried to do here is re-interpret the traditional "family tree" as I see it.
Parents give life, which is made of bone, organs, tissue and blood: the body is an instrument to be used for one's own purposes, not a cage that traps the individual.
This ideal family tree is dedicated to my daughter, stressing out that parents and relatives cannot be chosen, but influences and values can. In other words, I made you hands, feet, heart, eyes, ears, brains. Use them as YOU wish.
The empty cork circles represent the "future ancestors". Unlike a traditional family tree, they're empty: everybody chooses his/her own masters while growing up.
I've been asking myself who would I put up there and it wasn't easy. Writers, painters, explorers, scientists, Renaissance geniuses, anti-fascist heroes, feminist activists... The tree would become a wood.
Step 1: The drawing of course
I transferred the sketch onto the plaque. Without all the tiny details.
Step 2 : The frames
What organs go here? Heart, sure. So connected to feelings and love in our culture. Brain of course. To think and reason. The eye. Too see and observe. But also hands and feet, to build and to travel.
The illustrations of the organs are taken from a 19th century anatomy manual. The trunk is made with a thin layer of birch wood.
Step 3: Finished
That's it. The branches are a little "Klimt-like", but adding all those small details without following any particular pattern has been very relaxing.