Blood, Sweat and Tears

Conceptual, Drawings, Making

All a bit gory in the title, but then this expression summed up the day. It started two days ago when I came home in the middle of the day and was transferring my sleeping toddler from car to house. As I made my way up the stairs I got a little spooked to see a tall figure in the kitchen out of the corner of my eye. A full size skeleton had landed. For the last couple of days the kitchen and back yard have been the workshop. So we have had body parts lying around on the worktop and kitchen table. It is not a real human I must make clear, we have not gone as far as Damien Hirst. However, it may be a bit religiously controversial but that sparks debate.

‘The Toy’

I am hesitant about putting up sketches, although it shows the working process. The sketch is the first stage, the next stage is sprawled around our house making it rather cold as the back door is open due to the drilling that has been going on. When I told my eldest son what had happened today he immediately sobbed, a mixture of empathy and worry I think. His tears were heartfelt. So this is the blood addition, whilst drilling some of the parts together, I am not sure how the drill went through the skeletal sculpture bone into my husband’s hand, Ouch! but it did. I personally thought it looked like it had just touched the bone but he merely brushed it off as the first layer of skin (think we are talking more like subcutaneous layer actually). So in true Egyptian style he simply superglued it together. Rather fortunate I just happened to buy some at the beginning of the week to glue back together a wooden frame in the boy’s room which I have been meaning to do for months.

So the Sculptor is sore but still drilling away. So what has the sweat got to do with it? All this hard work, this  piece had been the most physically exerting, and challenging. It  made me think about how we define hard work. In the Uk we are constantly on a treadmill, we seem to think that if we have ‘sweated’ hard for something then we are more deserving of it. Although people talk about work life balance, I don’t see it. The majority of people live to work.

The question of what art is also arose. My husband pointed out that the majority of his work was purely from the imagination in his head, whilst this piece is the ‘idea’, putting something that already exists in a new way. People often comment about conceptual art that, ‘they could do it’. It is ideas and concept that create debate. Of course, in my own head I am now even more concerned about the sparks that may fly about this piece. However, there is an important message behind this work.

This image below was taken earlier, I have just been called through to see the finished body on the kitchen table. 14 hours later and 72 pieces assembled. A lot of blood, sweat and tears for one day.

‘The Toy’ – in progress


Colour, Making, Philosophy, Relationships, Steel

After a few attempts at writing this post, I finally had inspiration and the inspired image. This last month, I have been purposely finding inspiration from many ways. Connecting with people more, in both real and virtual ways and making a little bit more time for myself. Inspiration is, after all, around us, “staring at us; we just have to see it”, as my husband says.

Despite declaring that this blog is the ‘musings of the muse’, I am not the ‘the sculptors inspiration.’ Most of the time inspiration is hiding from me, tucked away under the laundry of daily life. I am not  a vessel of inspiration.We can have a romantic idea that the painters muse is the painted woman. That somehow someone can give us the ‘fire’ of ideas. I am sure that people can be a muse, a number of people have inspired me this month. Perhaps there is a difference in the process of how a painter gathers inspiration and creates work to that of a sculptor. However, in writing this I realise that even if asked to do a portrait from clay my husband would work from memory rather than have someone to ‘sit’. My husband has a way of absorbing everything around him and then the talent to be able to translate that into a drawing which is more often than not a sketch of a 3d piece. This piece had been sketched years ago – I found it in an old sketch book but also more recently the same idea came back again and so it had to be realised in 3d form. On a design level the difference about this piece is that it explores the horizontal much more than the other pieces but using the same geometric design and playful colour.

This piece again has a fun element as it could be a number of things, our eldest son, on seeing it today in the kitchen thought it could be an aeroplane but he then said, no ‘it has to be a bird because it has eyes’. It has a feel of a Manga cartoon character and by giving the title to this piece, “The girl next door’ it almost instructs the viewer to see a ‘portrait’. Although, as our Son rightly pointed out, “girls ponytails don’t got out in a line like that Baba”. The purpose to such an obvious title  highlights that inspiration can be found right in front of our nose. Indeed, inspiration is inside all of us we just need to know where to look.

 The girl next door will be visiting:

The Other Art Fair, next week. 11th -13th May. Ambika P3, Marylebone Road, London NW1.