Handheld
28 Sep 21 by justatest
This project concerns a second fragment of a mattress found in the stream at the end of the garden [LINK]. Using a form similar to the first, I'd like to evolve the finished surface in some way.

front view after removing wire surround

Lying sideways too I'm beginning to like as it appears less aggressive, more thoughtful and intimate. In which case I'll need, as the next step, to think of making some sort of stand upon which to place and present it.

Free

extracted from enclosure

In the end, the cage and ropes were discarded as visual noise distracting from what I found to be the innate delicacy of the central piece. I preferred instead the understated simplicity of the undulating flow and battered aspect of the cover fabric with it's rhombus-like designs.

Rope and cage

adding a border of rope

As I was adding the rope I became less convinced of the direction it was taking. It seemed just too contrived and heavy as if I'm plodding along insisting on looking for variations to follow the previous steps taken in the making of Dream Vagina [LINK]. I'd somehow lost that spark of curiosity (essential in the making of a successful piece) for what's going to happen next?

Beach scene

looking for old rope

I figured I'd put this photo in just to give a little relief from looking at the same thing all the time. I was thinking of using a border of old rope instead of the cordyline leaves previously used. A visit to the local beach provided plenty from smashed lobster pots washed up after a heavy storm.

Encage

settled in an enclosure of wire

As before, I made a wire basket into which I placed the piece but this time I didn't want to use leaves like on the last version. Furthermore, at this point, the interior has been given various layers of gesso so it becomes hard and solid to the touch.

Layers of gesso

gesso on exterior walls

More attempts to have it stand upright and open by itself. I made up some hot gesso and gave the external walls a couple of coats. Even though the material is modern (polyurethane foam), I still like to use traditional methods (learned long ago in art school) and materials used in preparing canvases.

Opening the sides

walls thrown back and opened out

A couple of coats of rabbit-skin glue help to stabilize it and give it a little rigidity.

Cutting the foam

rough section of mattress

The second cut from the mattress was also vaguely triangular like the first. The deep cut within the foam allows the two walls to be drawn back and out to allow for a more three-dimensional characteristic.