Monday, July 2, 2012

Sculpture and Presentation

 Without good presentation sculpture is often dead.
While a good base shows the art well, it is also designed is to protect the art. 

This very quirky Dogon antique wooden puppet suffered from being horizontal.
I offered to make a base for this puppet because I wanted to understand how it was made and used.
When you help restore artwork it feels like you are the second person to really study the art.
Parts of the crest were broken, the tip of the bill was damaged from being dropped. The cord string is hand made and fragile. Also fragile is the lower bill because it is mobil, connected to the head by that cording.

I used a dark brown waxed linnen cord to to stabilize the lower bill. Two knots at upper and lower bill on both sides restrict the movement while allowing enough play to give the idea that the bill was made to move and clatter in a dance ceremony.
The art is much more animated now that it's vertical.

To compliment the hand carved textures of the art, I carved the post and smaller base to match. That texture and hand work also hides the fact that I don't have a chop saw and can't make a crips square cut! (Perfection is vastly over-rated.)

The base is a scrap of ipe wood from a deck project. It's heavy which is good for a base, but its rich color was too vibrant so I spray painted it black so it didn't upstage the art. 

Louise Nevelson was right, wood looks great painted black.

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