I participated in the “On Form" exhibition @ the Collective at the beginning of this month. This exhibition honors the work and life of Durban artist Martin Burnett who died in January this year.
Burnett had collected 30 paper machè mannequin busts which 30 KZN artists re- interpreted decorate and re-imagined. "Burnett stood in solidarity with women in abusive relationships and supported initiatives which assisted abused women and children. To this end, the exhibition will be a fund raiser for two important organisations" that work towards the prevention of abuse of women & children. source
I went to pick up a paper machè bust half way through April. The bust I chose reminded me of a bird when viewed from the side. I was immediately reminded of the story of the mythical story "Leda and the Swan" in which the god Zeus seduced, or raped, Leda in the form of a swan. Leda later gives birth to an egg from which the gods of war hatch.
Sam my Spynx cat is pictured here inspecting the original bust before I started working on it.
I covered the paper mâché bust in plaster, pressing real feathers into the plaster. I then painted a swan's neck between the breasts of the torso with it's head curling around the neck of the sculpture. The sculpture was then stained brown & sanded down so that the imprinted feathers would stand out. The resulting piece had too many contrasts so I softened it with white spray paint. I finished off the piece by collaging printed feathers, text from Yeat's poem written out in my own handwriting & sealing the whole thing in layers of resin & wax.